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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Landsat 5 still refuses to die!!

Tue, 06 Mar 2012

Interesting news article over at USGS about their continued efforts to revive Landsat 5 (or more specifically the Thematic Mapper instrument). All hope is not (yet!) lost, but what's more interesting is that if improvement in the transmission equipment (the reason for the failure) is not solved, there is a certain amount of life left in the kit which will be prioritized. At that point..... they will try to turn on the Multi-Spectral Scanner!! Yes, seriously. Landsat 5 was the last Landsat to have both TM and MSS (as a back-up) and this has been off, well, for a long-time. It would be very interesting to know the last MSS scene imaged. A while back me-thinks. And if they do get it, then (as they note), they need to re-instate all the old MSS workflows. Probably long forgotten and not designed to work within current IT systems. There is something "boys-own" about the whole affair which makes it all rather endearing.... that said, there is a serious side to all this. LDCM is not due for launch until January 2013 which currently gives a relatively large whole in Landsat data collection (albeit with the limited capacity of Landsat 7).

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