Landsat 7

Serge Andrefouet serge at
Tue Sep 28 10:23:06 EDT 1999

Dear colleagues,

Landsat 7 images are now available. The test period of Landsat 7 and the ETM+
sensor was completed in early July 1999. Since then, around 20,000 images have
acquired, and a significant number of scenes include coral reef areas. The
useful web sites if you are interested in these images are :

Documentation on Landsat sensors:

Landsat project:

Main Landsat data gateway:

Other gateways (US and international):

Landsat 7 data ordering tutorial via main gateway:

Tool to retrieve browse products (i.e. quicklook):

Useful ordering info:

Current coverage since beginning July 1999:

Landsat software:

Image processing handbook:

If you want to browse, visualize and order L7 images, you need to do the
following (sounds complicated but is not):

1/check out one of the gateways. You can enter as a guest or registered user.

2/ you must select the Data Set Catalog you want (Keyword: Landsat or
visible imagery). This is on the Simple form.

3/ select the Dataset you want: for Landsat 7, you have L0R (raw images) or
L1R (radiometrically corrected images). You will be able to order L1G (L1R
images geometrically corrected) as far as you have identified the L0R or
L1R in which you are interested.

4/ select your research criteria. For this I recommend to switch to the
Advanced Form. You can enter your region of interest (lat/long, or Path/row
i.e. coordinates in World Reference System 2, or draw of box on a map),
date, maximum cloud cover, etc...

5/ launch the search and wait.

6/ if succesfull, the search provides for each Data Set the number of
granules found. A granule is actually just an image.

7/ list your data granules (or images)

8/ At this stage, you can select individually each granule and ask for a
sample (i.e. quicklook) to check if the images really cover
your area and the cloud cover. When you request a sample, you have to fill
a form and send it ("Start FTP browse request"). Few minutes later, you
will receive a e-mail with the instructions to visualize your file. This
e-mail contains a line with "FTPDIR:" and a number such as:
FTPDIR: 1452716838

To visualize your file, I recommand you not to follow the instruction of
the e-mail but to open a new browser at

You just have to input the number right to the FTPDIR to see your quicklook.

9/ take a break

10/ If you are satisfied by the quicklook, have a credit card number in
hand and between 400 to 650 US$, you can follow the next step to complete
your order. Tests show that you will receive your image (CD or tape) in a
few days (for USA). You can also download (FTP) your image.

We have put some quicklooks over coral reef areas  at:

The quicklooks are resampled images (ratio ~1/100) and do not reflect
at all the information provided by the real images. They are of inegal
qualities (e.g. Chrismas1 and Chrismas2) and they are not optimized for
reef detection. As a reminder, L7
image swath is 180 km, the spatial resolution is 30 meters for the bands in
visible and 15 meters for the panchromatic band.

A txt file, Word doc file and Endnote file (.enl) including a (non-exhaustive)
bibliography on remote sensing/coral reefs and related subjects
(spectrometry, optics, image processing...) are also posted at:

The Landsat Project must be acknowledged for their effort in integrating a
significant number
of coral reef sites into the Landsat-7 Long-Term Acquisition Plan (LTAP).
According to
NASA Headquarters, 8725 reef sites (reference Reefbase) have
been integrated in the LTAP, and ~7500 have been surveyed during the first
months of operation. There is still a priority setting for coverage among
from two images per year (most of the reefs) to 12 images per year for very
high priority reefs or for special events (hurricanes, bleaching,...).
Images are not of course entirely cloud free but the process of acquisition
is well in progress.

Fell free to ask any questions or make comments to:
serge at

Serge Andrefouet
Frank Muller-Karger
Chuanmin Hu

Serge Andrefouet
Department of Marine Science
Remote Sensing/ Biological Oceanography
University of South Florida              
140, 7th Av. South                       
St Petersburg 
FL 33701

phone: (727) 553-1186
fax:   (727) 553-1103
E-mail: serge at

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