Moscow, Russia, 25 August 2006: On August 22, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) LANDSAT Program Manager notified RDC SCANEX that the small-size UniScan ground stations in Moscow and Irkutsk had been certified for the LANDSAT-5 satellite data reception.
RDC SCANEX has become a participant of the International Mid-Decadal Global Land Survey (MDGLS) Project, managed by NASA and the USGS. The program objective is updating of the global Earth map of land cover, land use change to support the assessment of the climate change impacts and of human activities on the planet. An international network of stations will be executing a coordinated data reception campaign from the LANDSAT-5 TM (Thematic Mapper) sensor supporting the MDGLS program through December 2007.
The LANDSAT-5 satellite was launched in 1984 and, despite a record lifetime of 22 years for this type of satellite, is still operating effectively (original expected satellite lifespan – 3 years). The principal imaging sensor on-board LANDSAT-5 is the Thematic Mapper (TM) – an optical mechanical scanner, providing imagery with a swath width of 185KM at a spatial resolution of 30 meters in 6 spectral bands of the visible, near and middle infra-red bands and 120 meters in a single thermal band.
The U.S. LANDSAT program, started in 1972, is the longest and most successful civil Earth observation program. LANDSAT-7 images were widely used by Russian researchers, resource managers and the public in the various applications in Russia: nature protection, Earth resources exploration, disaster management in the past years. However, starting in 2003, the ETM+ sensor of the LANDSAT-7 satellite began experiencing problems, significantly bringing down the demand for the images as a result. Since then, the LANDSAT-5 satellite operation has helped augment global LANDSAT coverage. Currently, 6 foreign ground stations are included in the international LANDSAT-7 data reception network, with 14 stations as part of the LANDSAT-5 reception network, two Russian stations inclusive.
A LANDSAT-5 image archive has been replenished over Russia in the two months since the data acquisition started and will be available for preview and ordering to all the clients via RDC SCANEX Internet-catalog at http://catalog.scanex.ru