Two satellite systems launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1978 carried sensors which operated in the thermal infrared (IR) region of the electromagnetic spectrum, The final IR radiation data provide spectral information about the physical properties of the Earth's surficial materials not duplicated in either the visible or reflective IR wavelength regions. Landsat 3, launched on March 5, 1978, contained a thermal sensor as part of the multispectral scanner (MSS) system. The sensor operated in the 10.4- to 12.6-?m (band 8) wavelength region and produced imagery with a ground resolution of approximately 235 m.
Launched on April 26) 1978) the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) spacecraft carried a sensor, the heat capacity mapping radiometer (HCMR) which operated in the 10.5- to 12.5?m wavelength region and produced imagery with a ground resolution of approximately 600 m at nadir. The HCMM satellite acquired over 6,600 data passes of visible (0.55-1.1 ?m), as well as thermal IR data, over North America, Europe, and Australia.
General characteristics and availability of Landsat 3 and HCMM thermal IR data are discussed. Landsat 3 reflected IR band 7 (0.55-1.1 ?m) and Landsat 3 band 8 thermal data acquired over the eastern and western United States are analyzed and compared with HCMM visible, thermal IR, thermal inertia, and day-night temperature difference imagery for geologic applications. Digitally processed and enhanced HCMM data (high-pass filters, diagonal derivatives, and band ratios), produced by the U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff) Ariz., are presented for geologic interpretation.
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General characteristics and availability of Landsat 3 and heat capacity mapping mission thermal infrared data