Welcome to the Washington/Northern Virginia Chapter of IEEE/GRSS

Technical Meeting

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 3:30pm

NASA Goddard Visitor Center

(refreshments available at 3:00pm)



Dr. James R. Irons

LDCM Project Scientist

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Extending the Landsat Legacy; Progress Towards an LDCM Launch

The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) has advanced to the preliminary design stage, Phase B, of mission development. The mission is being implemented as a free-flyer satellite through an interagency partnership between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Interior / U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in accordance with direction from the Executive Office of the President. 

Progress to date includes: 

  1. selection of Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation (BATC) to build the primary LDCM earth sensor, the Operational Land Imager (OLI); 
  2. selection of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (GDAIS) to develop the LDCM spacecraft; initiation of ground system development at the USGS Center for Earth Resources Observations and Science (EROS) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and 
  3. consideration of the possible addition of a thermal imaging sensor to the LDCM payload. 

This work has gone on in parallel to the beginning of a new era in Landsat data access with the USGS decision to distribute Landsat data from its 36-year archive at no cost to those requesting images. This revolutionary data policy will extend to LDCM data following launch now scheduled no earlier than December, 2012.


Dr. James R. Irons, is the Associate Chief of the Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). He is also the NASA Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Project Scientist and in that capacity ensures that the design and implementation of the mission meet science requirements.
Prior to 2007, Dr. Irons worked 28 years as a physical scientist in the Biospheric Sciences Branch, NASA GSFC where he served as the Landsat 7 Deputy Project Scientist beginning in 1992.
Dr. Irons received his B.Sc. degree in environmental resources management in 1976 and the M.Sc. degree in agronomy in 1979 from the Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. degree in agronomy in 1993 from the University of Maryland.

Jim Irons TEL: (301) 614-6657 FAX: (301) 614-6297
Associate Chief, Laboratory for Atmospheres & LDCM Project Scientist
Code 613 / Laboratory for Atmospheres
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

email: James.R.Irons@nasa.gov