For the past 42 years, Landsat satellites and associated U.S. Government ground processing, distribution, and archiving systems have acquired and made available global, moderate-resolution (5-120m), multispectral measurements of land and coastal regions, providing humankind's longest record of our planet from space. NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) of the Department of the Interior (DOI) fully recognize that this information is a national asset, providing an important and unique capability that benefits a broad community, including Federal, state, and local governments; global change science, academia, and the private sector. Landsat data provide a consistent and reliable foundation for research on land use change, forest health, and carbon inventories, and changes to our environment, climate, and natural resources. Additionally, the free and open availability of the Landsat data enables the measurements to be used routinely by decision makers both inside and outside the Government, for a wide range of natural resource issues, including water resource management, wildfire response, agricultural productivity, rangeland management, and the effects of climate change.
The Administration has committed to continue the Landsat program and its invaluable data stream. To continue data collection beyond Landsat-8, the Administration proposes to design and implement a spaceborne system to provide global, continuous Landsat-quality multispectral and thermal infrared measurements for at least the next 25 years. The satellite system may be combined with alternative sources for Landsat-quality data, either procured through commercial approaches or through partnership agreements, as they become available. In accordance with Administration objectives, NASA will lead the system design study in close collaboration with the USGS and be informed by existing knowledge of current and desired capabilities. The aim of the study will be to define a programmatically sustainable system that balances measurement capability, likelihood of data continuity (minimizing risks of gaps to the extent possible), and cost/affordability over the lifetime of the program. Technology infusion over the lifetime of the program will be considered as a feature of the long-term sustainable program.
In FY 2014, NASA will initiate the definition of a sustained, space-based, global land imaging capability for the nation, ensuring continuity following LDCM. Near-term activities led by NASA, in cooperation with USGS, will focus on studies to define the scope, measurement approaches, cost, and risk of a viable long-term land imaging system that will achieve national objectives. Evaluations and design activities will include consideration of stand-alone new instruments and satellites, as well as potential international partnerships. It is expected that NASA will support the overall system design, flight system implementation, and launch of future missions, while USGS will continue to fund ground system development, post-launch operations, and data processing, archiving, and distribution.The basic guidance for the Sustainable Land Imaging Architecture Study is summarized by the following three basic tenets:
January 28, 2015 - We are pleased to announce that the following companies have been awarded contracts under Solicitation Number NNG15534681Q to carry out the Sustainable Land Imaging (SLI) Business Model Study:
September 5, 2014 - We are pleased to announce that the following companies have been awarded contracts under Solicitation Number NNG14518373Q to carry out the Sustainable Land Imaging (SLI) Reduced Instrument Envelope Study:
The study focuses on investigating mid-term capabilities and technologies for instruments that may enable more efficient implementation of the SLI program objectives to continue Landsat heritage measurements. The study contract awards are intended to enable contractors to perform a more detailed analysis of techniques and trends that lead to reduction in size and mass of spaceborne Earth-imaging instruments, potentially resulting in cost savings to the U.S. Government while still meeting the SLI program objectives. These studies will be of 6-month duration.