Landsat TM

Landsat began the land mapping in the early 1970s with a series of 3 MSS (multispectral scanner) satellites that mapped using the 3 visible channels along with a near-infrared band. In the early 1980s the next generation of Landsat satellites began offering what is known as the Thematic Mapper, which added two more infrared bands and a thermal long-wave infrared band, and doubled the resolution capabilities of the multispectral bands. Landsat 7 successfully debuted the Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) platform in 1999.

Landsat satellites have been collecting images of the Earth's surface for more than thirty years. NASA launched the first Landsat satellite in 1972, and the most recent one, Landsat 7, in 1999. These images provide a unique resource for people who work in agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping, and global change research.

Type Sun-Synchronous
Altitude 705 km
Inclination 98.2 deg.
Period 99 min
Repeat Cycle 16 days
Bant Spectral Range ( µm) Resolution (m)
1 0.450 - 0.515 Blue Visible 30
2 0.525 - 0.605 Green Visible 30
3 0.630 - 0.690 Red Visible 30
4 0.750 - 0.900 Near Infrared NIR 30
5 1.55 - 1.75 Short Wave Infrared SWIR 30
6 10.4 - 12.5 Thermal Infrared TIR 60
7 1.09 - 2.35 Short Wave Infrared SWIR 30
8 0.520 - 0.900 Panchromatic Visible 15

Landsat data have been used by government, commercial, industrial, civilian, military, and educational communities throughout the United States and worldwide. The data support a wide range of applications in such areas as geography, mapping, water quality, and oceanography.

Other Applications

  • Fieldwork and detection of change,
  • Agricultural mapping and land use,
  • Population growth projection, global change monitoring studies,
  • Snow and ice melt potential models,
  • Geologic/mineral resource mapping and petroleum prospecting.