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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to procure data from a privately-owned and commercially-operated remote sensing system for the next Landsat mission, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM). Data requirements are documented in an LDCM Data Specification. The specifications require delivery of data covering 250 Landsat scenes on a daily basis. The data are to be acquired in a manner that affords seasonal coverage of the global land mass. Data are required for the heritage reflective Thematic Mapper (TM) spectral bands plus two new bands, a blue band for coastal zone observations and a short wave infrared band for cirrus cloud detection. The specifications do not require thermal data, representing a departure from the TM heritage. The specification also requires data providing a 30 m ground sample distance for each of the spectral bands with the exception of the new cirrus cloud band at 120 m. An absolute uncertainty of 5 percent or less is required for radiometrically corrected LDCM data and the commercial operator is required to deliver data that can be registered to a cartographic projection with an uncertainty of 65 m or less. Procuring data from a commercial operator represents a new approach for the 30-year-old Landsat Program. The LDCM Data Specification will ensure that the procured data provides continuity of the Landsat data stream and advances the mission.
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Data Specifications for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission
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2003 IGARSS: Learning From Earth's Shapes and Colours