Algorithms like NBR are based on raw Landsat data. NASA and USGS pride themselves on high quality data, which the scientific community uses as a gold standard for other satellite data.
"The Landsat measurements are consistently highly accurate, pixel-to-pixel, image-to-image. That's why you can make these types of maps," said Anita Davis, outreach and education coordinator for the Landsat mission at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
A host of other national agencies use Landsat data to develop their own maps and ecological assessments. RSAC in conjunction with the U. S. Geological Survey for example, run Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS), a multi-year project designed to map the burn severity and perimeters of fires in the U.S. from 1984 to 2010.
The Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation program of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management also develops treatment plans for post-fire landscapes. Another interagency vegetation, fire and fuel-mapping program, called LANDFIRE (Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools) uses Landsat data to measure the nation's changing landscape for climate change and ecological research.
Two other NASA satellites called Terra and Aqua carry Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments that observe almost the entire globe daily at a coarser spatial resolution. MODIS images assist fire management agencies to locate and monitor active fires because the MODIS data are available more frequently and in real time. Landsat data,
|Contact: Rob Gutro|
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center