Helmut Neumann, earth observation specialist at the CSIR Satellite Applications Centre, represented South Africa at the recent LANDSAT Ground Station Operators Working Group meeting held in Shanghai, China. He joined representatives from Landsat ground stations around the world - Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Europe (specifically the European Space Agency), Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and the US at this event that took place from 15-19 September 2008 at the Radission Hotel in down town Shanghai.
Delegates at the LANDSAT Ground Station Operators Working Group meeting held in Shanghai, China
The CSIR has received, processed and distributed earth observation data received from the Landsat programme since 1989. Landsat data can be obtained by contacting the CSIR Satellite Applications Centre's customer service. Landsat data are specifically useful for evaluating the dynamic changes caused by natural processes and human practices. The data have been used to generate the Landsat 2007 coverage of South Africa, a product that has been welcomed by the broader agri/environmental user community.
Following the Shanghai meeting, a decision was made by the CSIR to suspend its reception of Landsat 5 data as of 1 October 2008. This decision was based on the fact that both imaging frequency and coverage of southern Africa have been compromised by battery cell problems on the satellite.
Landsat 5 data are still accessible via Landsat's website and can be downloaded free with either GloVis or EarthExplorer.
Neumann is optimistic that the new Landsat 8 (LDCM), which will offer nine bands and maximum spatial resolution between 15 m for panchromatic and 30 m for the rest of the bands, will take earth observation up a notch. "We look forward to receiving these data once Landsat 8 has been launched in early 2012 and is operational."
Enquiries: CSIR Communications