Landsat TM and ETM+ thermal band calibration

Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing
By: , and 



Landsat-5 has been imaging the Earth since March 1984, and Landsat-7 was added to the series of Landsat instruments in April 1999. The Landsat Project Science Office and the Landsat-7 Image Assessment System have been monitoring the on-board calibration of Landsat-7 since launch. Additionally, two separate university teams have been evaluating the on-board thermal calibration of Landsat-7 through ground-based measurements since launch. Although not monitored as closely over its lifetime, a new effort is currently being made to validate the calibration of Landsat-5. Two university teams are beginning to collect ground truth under Landsat-5, along with using other vicarious calibration methods to go back into the archive to validate the history of the calibration of Landsat-5. This paper considers the calibration efforts for the thermal band, band 6, of both the Landsat-5 and Landsat-7 instruments. Though stable since launch, Landsat-7 had an initial calibration error of about 3 K, and changes were made to correct for this beginning 1 October 2000 for data processed with the National Landsat Archive Production System (NLAPS) and beginning 20 December 2000 for data processed with the Landsat Product Generation System (LPGS). Recent results from Landsat-5 vicarious calibration efforts show an offset of –0.7 K over the lifetime of the instrument. This suggests that historical calibration efforts may have been detecting errors in processing systems rather than changes in the instrument. A correction to the Landsat-5 processing has not yet been implemented but will be in the near future.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Landsat TM and ETM+ thermal band calibration
Series title Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing
DOI 10.5589/m02-087
Volume 29
Issue 2
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 13 p.
First page 141
Last page 153
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N