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Landsat 8 OLI (Operational Land Imager) and TIRS (Thermal Infrared Sensor)

     

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) are instruments onboard the Landsat 8 satellite, which was launched in February of 2013. The satellite collects images of the Earth with a 16-day repeat cycle, referenced to the Worldwide Reference System-2.  The satellite’s acquisitions are in an 8-day offset to Landsat 7 (see http://landsat.usgs.gov/tools_acq.php). The approximate scene size is 170 km north-south by 183 km east-west (106 mi by 114 mi).

The spectral bands of the OLI sensor, while similar to Landsat 7’s ETM+ sensor, provide enhancement from prior Landsat instruments, with the addition of two new spectral bands: a deep blue visible channel (band 1) specifically designed for water resources and coastal zone investigation, and a new infrared channel (band 9) for the detection of cirrus clouds. Two thermal bands (TIRS) capture data with a minimum of 100 meter resolution, but are registered to and delivered with the OLI data product. (See Landsat satellite band designations for more information.) Landsat 8 file sizes are larger than Landsat 7 data, due to additional bands and improved 16-bit data product (see http://landsat.usgs.gov/L8_files.php).

Landsat 8 Level 1 data products typically include data from both the OLI and TIRS sensor; however there may be OLI-only and/or TIRS-only scenes in the USGS archive.  The first two values of the Landsat 8 scene ID designates the data provided in each scene:

LC80290302014084LGN00  = Combined (both OLI and TIRS data)
LO80810202014064LGN00  = OLI data only
LT81172002013314LGN00  = TIRS data only

A Quality Assurance (QA.tif) band is also included. This file provides bit information regarding conditions that may affect the accuracy and usability of a given pixel – clouds, water or snow, for example. More information about the QA band can be found at http://landsat.usgs.gov/L8QualityAssessmentBand.php.

LandsatLook Images (full resolution files) are also available for Landsat 8 scenes, as they are for all previous Landsat scenes.  In addition to the Natural Color, Thermal, and Geographic Reference bundle files available, Landsat 8 scenes also include a Quality .png file. This provides a visual representation the QA.tif file.  Details about LandsatLook images can be found on http://landsat.usgs.gov/LandsatLookImages.php.

Standard Processing Parameters

Processing:

Level 1T - Terrain Corrected

Pixel Size:

  • OLI Multispectral bands: 30 meters
  • OLI panchromatic band: 15 meters
  • TIRS Thermal bands: 100 meters (resampled to 30 meters to match multispectral bands)

Data Characteristics:

  • GeoTIFF data format
  • Cubic Convolution (CC) resampling
  • North Up (MAP) orientation
  • Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) map projection (Polar Stereographic for Antarctica)
  • World Geodetic System (WGS) 84 datum
  • 12 meter circular error, 90% confidence global accuracy for OLI
  • 41 meter circular error, 90% confidence global accuracy for TIRS
  • 16-bit pixel values

Data Delivery:

HTTP Download within 24 hours of acquisition

Additional Information:

Data Use and Citation Policies

For information on how to cite USGS data plus guidance on usage restrictions,
please see our Data Citations and Use page at https://lta.cr.usgs.gov/citation.

Contact Information for User Assistance

Long Term Archive User Services
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
47914 252nd Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57198-0001

Phone Number: 605-594-6151
Toll Free: 800-252-4547
Fax: 605-594-6589

Email:lta@usgs.gov
Web: https://lta.cr.usgs.gov

Business Hours: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Central Time