Advanced sensors fly on Landsat 6



New systems to sense ocean color and temperature and to acquire data in thermal infrared wavelengths will form part of a 6000-pound (∼2700-kg) payload on Landsat 6, due to be launched in early 1991. The new remote sensing satellite will carry the Sea Wide Field Sensor (Sea-WiFS) and a thermal infrared (TIR) capability, in addition to the Enhanced Thematic Mapper now used on Landsats 4 and 5.

The color and temperature data from Sea-WiFS will provide information on currents, weather, and the global distribution of phytoplankton and fish that feed on them. TIR applications include measurement and evaluation of vegetation patterns, groundwater resources, snow cover, and crop yield.