Improvements to the quality and usability of Landsat satellite data have been made with the release of a new USGS product called Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD), which will help reduce the time needed to process and analyze data and imagery, a significant advantage to scientists studying landscape changes, including changes from wildfires, hurricanes, vegetation cover, drought and other events.
A fundamental goal for Landsat ARD is to significantly reduce the amount of data processing for scientists, who currently have to download and prepare large amounts of Landsat scene-based data for time-series investigative analysis.
ARD provides users with notable flexibility in how they access customized Landsat data. For example, users will have the ability to tailor requests according to specific needs in terms of geospatial regions, spectral bands and collection dates.
This initial ARD release includes Landsat 4-8 imagery of the conterminous United States, Alaska and Hawaii. In the future, USGS plans to add the earlier Landsat 1-5 Multispectral Scanner era imagery to the ARD product suite and eventually expand ARD to include the full global Landsat archive.
Users can access Landsat ARD through the EarthExplorer data portal.