Notes from the Field

All Is Well For LDCM

February 21st, 2013 by Adam Voiland

Wondering how the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) is doing after its launch last week?  The mission’s project office posted an update yesterday and the news is good.

The LDCM Mission Operations Team successfully completed the first phase of spacecraft activation. All spacecraft subsystems have been turned on, including propulsion, and power has been supplied to the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). The two instruments are currently undergoing a heated dry-out process to ensure water and other potential contaminants are eliminated from the optics and detectors. Cool down of the instruments to enable Earth imaging should begin in a few weeks.

The operations team also conducted a data exchange between the spacecraft, instruments, and ground system for an early look at data processing. OLI and TIRS test pattern data were generated and downlinked to ground stations in Sioux Falls, S.D., Gilmore Creek, Alaska, and Svalbard, Norway. All three ground stations received the data files with no errors, and then the test data were successfully transferred to the USGS Data Processing and Archive System in Sioux Falls, where the data were initially processed and archived.

3 Responses to “All Is Well For LDCM”

  1. Steven Lindenmeyer says:

    What about Landsat 7? Will it still be used and is there a follow on mission to 8 planned. It does take a while to replace one of these.

    • @USGSLandsat says:

      Hey, Steven! Landsat 7 will continue to remain in its current orbital position, which is an 8-day offset from LDCM. L7 is in great shape, and has fuel for several more years of operations. There is tremendous support for a Landsat 9 mission, although much discussion remains before anything is finalized.

  2. Steven Lindenmeyer says:

    Also wanted to say–Good job on Landsat 8!!