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Interim report on Landsat national archive activitiesThe Department of the Interior (DOI) has the responsibility to preserve and to distribute most Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Multispectral Scanner (MSS) data that have been acquired by the five Landsat satellites operational since July 1972. Data that are still covered by exclusive marketing rights, which were granted by the U.S. Government to the commercial Landsat operator, cannot be distributed by the DOI. As the designated national archive for Landsat data, the U.S. Geological Survey's EROS Data Center (EDC) has initiated two new programs to protect and make available any of the 625,000 MSS scenes currently archived and the 200,000 TM scenes to be archived at EDC by 1995. A specially configured system has begun converting Landsat MSS data from obsolete high density tapes (HDT's) to more dense digital cassette tapes. After transcription, continuous satellite swaths are (1) divided into standard scenes defined by a world reference system, (2) geographically located by latitude and longitude, and (3) assessed for overall quality. Digital browse images are created by subsampling the full-resolution swaths. Conversion of the TM HDT's will begin in the fourth quarter of 1992 and will be conducted concurrently with MSS conversion. Although the TM archive is three times larger than the entire MSS archive, conversion of data from both sensor systems and consolidation of the entire Landsat archive at EDC will be completed by the end of 1994. Some MSS HDT's have deteriorated, primarily as a result of hydrolysis of the pigment binder. Based on a small sample of the 11 terabytes of post-1978 MSS data and the 41 terabytes of TM data to be converted, it appears that to date, less than 2 percent of the data have been lost. The data loss occurs within small portions of some scenes; few scenes are lost entirely. Approximately 10,000 pre-1979 MSS HDT's have deteriorated to such an extent, as a result of hydrolysis, that the data cannot be recovered without special treatment of the tapes. An independent consulting division of a major tape manufacturer has analyzed affected tapes and is confident that restorative procedures can be applied to the HDT's to permit one pass to reproduce the data on another recording media. A system to distribute minimally processed Landsat data will be procured in 1992 and will be operational by mid-1994. Any TM or MSS data in the national archive that are not restricted by exclusive marketing rights will be reproduced directly from the archive media onto user specified computer-compatible media. TM data will be produced either at a raw level (radiometrically and geometrically uncorrected) or at an intermediate level (radiometrically corrected and geometrically indexed). MSS data will be produced to an intermediate level or to a fully corrected level (radiometrically corrected and geometrically transformed to an Oblique Mercator projection). The system will be capable of providing ordered scenes within 48 hours of receipt of order.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Boyd, John E.
(Geological Survey Sioux Falls, SD, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard Conference on Mass Storage Systems and Technologies, Volume 1,
Subject Category
Documentation And Information Science
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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