Since the launch of the first Landsat satellite 40 years ago, International Cooperators (ICs) have formed a key strategic alliance with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to not only engage in Landsat data downlink services but also to enable a foundation for scientific and technical collaboration.
The map below shows the locations of all ground stations operated by the United States and IC ground station network for the direct downlink and distribution of Landsat 5 (L5) and Landsat 7 (L7) image data. The circles show the approximate area over which each station has the capability for direct reception of Landsat data. The red circles show the components of the L5 ground station network, the green circles show components of the L7 station network, and the dashed circles show stations with dual (L5 and L7) status. The yellow circles show L5 short-term ("campaign") stations that contribute to the USGS Landsat archive.
Ground stations in South Dakota and Australia currently serve as the primary data capture facilities for the USGS Landsat Ground Network (LGN). The Landsat Ground Station (LGS) is located at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Alice Springs (ASN) ground station is located at the Geoscience Australia facility in Alice Springs, Australia. These sites receive the image data, via X-band Radio Frequency (RF) link, and the spacecraft housekeeping data, via S-band RF link. LGS also provides tracking services and a command link to the spacecrafts.