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A Photo Album of Earth Scheduling Landsat 7 Mission Daily ActivitiesLandsat7 is a member of a new generation of Earth observation satellites. Landsat7 will carry on the mission of the aging Landsat 5 spacecraft by acquiring high resolution, multi-spectral images of the Earth surface for strategic, environmental, commercial, agricultural and civil analysis and research. One of the primary mission goals of Landsat7 is to accumulate and seasonally refresh an archive of global images with full coverage of Earth's landmass, less the central portion of Antarctica. This archive will enable further research into seasonal, annual and long-range trending analysis in such diverse research areas as crop yields, deforestation, population growth, and pollution control, to name just a few. A secondary goal of Landsat7 is to fulfill imaging requests from our international partners in the mission. Landsat7 will transmit raw image data from the spacecraft to 25 ground stations in 20 subscribing countries. Whereas earlier Landsat missions were scheduled manually (as are the majority of current low-orbit satellite missions), the task of manually planning and scheduling Landsat7 mission activities would be overwhelmingly complex when considering the large volume of image requests, the limited resources available, spacecraft instrument limitations, and the limited ground image processing capacity, not to mention avoidance of foul weather systems. The Landsat7 Mission Operation Center (MOC) includes an image scheduler subsystem that is designed to automate the majority of mission planning and scheduling, including selection of the images to be acquired, managing the recording and playback of the images by the spacecraft, scheduling ground station contacts for downlink of images, and generating the spacecraft commands for controlling the imager, recorder, transmitters and antennas. The image scheduler subsystem autonomously generates 90% of the spacecraft commanding with minimal manual intervention. The image scheduler produces a conflict-free schedule for acquiring images of the "best" 250 scenes daily for refreshing the global archive. It then equitably distributes the remaining resources for acquiring up to 430 scenes to satisfy requests by international subscribers. The image scheduler selects candidate scenes based on priority and age of the requests, and predicted cloud cover and sun angle at each scene. It also selects these scenes to avoid instrument constraint violations and maximizes efficiency of resource usage by encouraging acquisition of scenes in clusters. Of particular interest to the mission planners, it produces the resulting schedule in a reasonable time, typically within 15 minutes.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Potter, William
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Gasch, John
(Computer Sciences Corp.)
Bauer, Cynthia
(Bauer, Cynthia)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1998
Subject Category
Solar Physics
Meeting Information
SpaceOps 1998(Tokyo)
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