Landsat 8, also known as the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, is a NASA satellite mission that provides detailed imagery of the earth. The Landsat satellites continuously record the entire land surface of the earth from space. The data from these satellites is used to track changes on the earth’s surface and is used by scientists and people who work in agriculture, education, business, science and government agencies.
Why Landsat 8 Is Important
Every day, Landsat 8 provides more than 400 detailed images that scientists, private industry, and resource managers use to monitor changes and make informed decisions. Landsat 8 is used to make decisions that affect everyone on our planet to include:
- Providing detailed images of changes to the earth due to natural disasters such as fire, landslides, and floods.
- Helping farmers analyze the health of their crops & identifying potential diseases.
- Assisting water managers to make decisions by identifying possible pollution, as well as locating clean water for refugees in arid countries.
How General Dynamics Supports Landsat 8
The General Dynamics Mission Systems team provides the systems engineering and integration services for the ground-based command and control system for the Mission Operations Element (MOE). The team had to ensure that the Landsat 8 ground system and ground communications were tested, verified, and validated. The team combined a number of computers and highly specific software to ensure that the Mission Operations Center team could talk to the spacecraft and fluently communicate information needed to keep Landsat 8 operating smoothly after launch. For their outstanding work on the Landsat 8 ground systems, the General Dynamics team received a prestigious Goddard Award for Engineering in 2013.