Free remote sensing data

NASA and the US Geological Survey provide data from their Landsat satellites for free. This data is already used by farmers to monitor nitrogen levels in their fields and plan fertiliser application.

Landsat 1 launched in 1972. The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), the eighth satellite in the series, will launch in 2013 and will bring two sensors—the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS)—into low orbit over the Earth to continue the work of their predecessors as they image our planet’s land surface.

The Landsat Data Continuity Mission will continue and improve upon the 40-year-old Landsat programme. Both wineries and timber companies rely on Landsat data to check whether their vines and trees are getting enough (or too much) water and fertiliser. The resolution and regularity of the satellite data is crucial for them.

OLI will measure energy in nine visible, near infrared and short wave infrared bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, and TIRS will measure energy in two thermal infrared bands.

More information is available at

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