Landsat tweaks – panchromatic and thermal bands

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Pan-sharpened image in EO Browser, Landsat 8 (Memphis, TN, United States, acquired on June 27, 2017)

We are introducing another great feature of Sentinel Hub services. – From now on you can double the resolution of your Landsat image by choosing a panchromatic band while browsing the Landsat 8 data in EO Browser. If you are interested in surface temperature, you now have the possibility to select a thermal band, which provides you the temperature (in Kelvin) for every point on Earth.

OLI and TIRS

Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) instruments on-board the Landsat 8 satellite, launched in February 2013, capture imagery in several different “bands.” Each band represents a unique portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, defined by wavelength. By combining these bands, we are able to see the unseen.

The panchromatic band alone appears in black and white, and it captures a much wider range of light than other bands. Therefore, it is providing a significantly sharper image and twice as detailed as the individual spectral bands. You can sharpen a 30m resolution images to 15m for red (band 4), green (band 3) and blue (band 2) bands.

Pan-sharpening

Panchromatic sharpening (pan-sharpening) is a technique that merges high-resolution panchromatic data with medium-resolution multispectral data to create a multispectral image with higher-resolution features. Basically, it means using a panchromatic (single band) image to “sharpen” a multispectral image. In this sense, to “sharpen” means to increase the spatial resolution of a multispectral image.

To provide more detailed image, we have established pan-sharpened true color layer, which you can use through EO Browser. Panchromatic band can be used by Sentinel Hub users directly as well. Check more information on manual pan-sharpening of a specific band.

Not sharpenedPan-sharpened

Inspect the difference between the true color image (left) and pan-sharpened (right) – Cyprus (viewed in EO Browser, acquired on June 27, 2017)

Get the temperature for every point

Two thermal bands (TIRS), band 10 and 11, capture data with a minimum of 100m resolution, but delivered with the 30m OLI data product. In the thermal bands, dark pixels represent cool temperatures and light pixels represent hot temperatures. Thermal band data provide important information about water irrigation use in arid land, as well as heat units in urban areas.

By integrating the thermal band into the Sentinel Hub, you can now explore the temperature for Landsat 8 data globally.

Cairo, Egypt (viewed in EO Browser and acquired on June 27, 2017)

To explore further the capabilities of the Sentinel Hub, apply for a trial account here.