Launched in 1982 and 1984 respectively, the Landsat-4 and -5 Thematic Mappers (TM) are the backbone of an extensive archive of moderate resolution Earth imagery. However, these sensors and their data products were not subjected to the type of intensive monitoring that has been part of the Landsat-7 system since its launch in 1999. With Landsat-4's 11 year and Landsat-5's 20+ year data record, there is a need to understand the historical behavior of the instruments in order to verify the scientific integrity of the archive and processed products. Performance indicators of the Landsat-4 and -5 thermal bands have recently been extracted from a processing system database allowing for a more complete study of thermal band characteristics and calibration than was previously possible. The database records responses to the internal calibration system, instrument temperatures and applied gains and offsets for each band for every scene processed through the National Landsat Archive Production System (NLAPS). Analysis of this database has allowed for greater understanding of the calibration and improvement in the processing system. This paper will cover the trends in the Landsat-4 and -5 thermal bands, the effect of the changes seen in the trends, and how these trends affect the use of the thermal data.
Additional Publication Details
Landsat-4 and Landsat-5 thematic mapper band 6 historical performance and calibration