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MODIS Direct Broadcast Reception and Processing at the USGS Center for Earth Resources Observations and Science (EROS). Karen Zanter, USGS October 3, 2005. Agenda. EROS Mission AmericaView Program Ground Station Overview Processing Flow Data Capture Archive Distribution Products

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MODIS Direct BroadcastReception and Processingat theUSGS Center for Earth Resources Observations and Science (EROS)

Karen Zanter, USGS

October 3, 2005

  • EROS Mission
  • AmericaView Program
  • Ground Station Overview
  • Processing Flow
    • Data Capture
    • Archive
    • Distribution
  • Products
  • Applications
eros mission statement
EROS Mission Statement
  • Science: To promote and conduct applications, users, and knowledge of land information to better understand our planet
  • Data Access: To ensure that scientists, researchers, businesses, decision makers, and the public have ready access to land information
  • Data Archives: To safeguard and expand the national archive of remotely sensed land data
americaview mission statement
AmericaView Mission Statement

“AmericaView is a locally controlled and nationally coordinated program…

… to advance the availability, timely distribution, and widespread use of remote sensing data and technology…

…through education, research, outreach, and sustainable technology transfer to the public and private sectors.”

americaview components
AmericaView Components
  • AmericaView, Inc. – National Consortium for Remote Sensing Education, Research, and Geospatial Applications
  • USGS AmericaView Project at EROS Data Center (included in the Land Remote Sensing Program)
eros modis db ground station
EROS MODIS DB Ground Station
  • AmericaView Program funded the creation of an EROS ground station capable of receiving the real-time MODIS data
  • Began processing and data distribution in July 2002
  • Two to four images of MODIS DB data are acquired daily
    • E-mail notifications of each acquisition are automatically sent to registered users
  • Available for download 2 hours after reception
  • Coverage of conterminous U.S. and parts of Canada and Mexico
edc modis db users
  • Approximately 410 registered users YTD
  • AmericaView/StateView Consortiums
  • Non-AmericaView Universities, Individual Students
  • Government
  • Industry
  • Foreign
eros ground station antennas
EROS Ground Station Antennas
  • 10m Datron
    • Up to Three Simultaneous X-Band Data Downlink Channels (Image Data Reception)
    • S-Band TT&C Equipped
  • 5.4m ViaSat
    • Up to Two Simultaneous X-Band Data Downlink Channels (Image Data Reception)
      • Support for Three X-Band Data Downlink Channels
    • S-Band TT&C Capability
  • 3m ViaSat
    • Used to Support AVHRR Data Reception
    • DCPF Provides Advisory Support and Maintenance
  • 10m and 5.4m Antennas Serve as Back-Up to Each Other as Schedules Permit

10M Antenna

5.4M Antenna

data capture system dcs
Data Capture System (DCS)
  • Captures X-band Image Data in a Raw Computer Compatible (RCC) Format
  • Utilized by Multiple EROS Missions
    • Currently used for Landsat 5, Landsat 7, MODIS Direct Broadcast
    • Capable of Capturing a Wide Variety of Image Data
  • Also ingest Landsat Data via Tape or Network from International Ground Stations
    • ASN (Alice Springs, Australia)
    • Gilmore Creek / University of Alaska Fairbanks
    • PF1 (Poker Flat, Alaska)
  • DELL Commodity LINUX Servers Hosting Myriad/Mercury Computer Dual-Channel Capture Cards with USGS Device Driver and Application
  • Sends Data to Processing & Archive Systems
  • Realtime Moving Window Display Capability
nearline archive
Nearline Archive
  • Implemented Capability for Nearline Archive
  • Automatic Population of MODIS Level 0 Data after Reception
  • Data can be downloaded at no cost from retrieval site:
    • Retrieval site holds the most recent five days of data
    • Registration is necessary to access the site
    • Data files are compressed (lossless)
  • State-based composites
    • Based on the US composite
    • 48 conterminous US states, as well as the District of Columbia, and state composite can be clipped on demand by user’s request.
    • State composites are built using the 500m composite products
    • Users can select any and/or all of bands 1-7 and the NDVI band
    • The state composite products can be obtained at no cost at:
  • Seamless Data Distribution site at:
    • Daily United States Composite (only)
web site
Web Site

MODIS Direct Broadcast provides the most recent 5 days of MODIS Aqua and Terra data and composites of the conterminous United States.

modis db products
MODIS DB Products
  • L1B (HDF format)
    • 250m product contains bands 1 and 2 at their native 250m resolution
    • 500m product contains bands 3 through 7 at their native 500m resolution, along with bands 1 and 2 aggregated to 500m
    • 1000m product contains bands 8 through 36 at their native 1000m resolution, along with bands 1-7 aggregated to 1000m
  • L2R (HDF format)
    • Estimates of the true land surface reflectances for the 250m and 500m bands, corrected for atmospheric scattering and absorption. Current and forecast ozone and atmospheric data are used in these corrections
  • L3V (HDF format)
    • Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) products for the 250m and 500m bands, using the surface reflectance products as input
modis db products cont
MODIS DB Products (cont.)
  • L2G (HDF and GeoTIFF format)
    • L1B products that have been gridded (projected) to the Lambert Azimuthal equal-area projection and corrected for over-sampling at off-nadir view angles (bow-tie effect)
  • L2RG (HDF and GeoTIFF format)
    • L2R products that have been gridded (projected) to the Lambert Azimuthal equal-area projection and corrected for over-sampling at off-nadir view angles (bow-tie effect)
  • L3VG (HDF and GeoTIFF format)
    • L3V products that have been gridded (projected) to the Lambert Azimuthal equal-area projection and corrected for over-sampling at off-nadir view angles (bow-tie effect)
modis db products cont1
MODIS DB Products (cont.)
  • Rolling seven-day composites (GeoTIFF format)
  • L2R data
  • 7-day period using Aqua acquisitions
  • The highest NDVI value for each pixel in the composite is then determined from the group of L2R products
  • The composite products are available in 250m, 500m, and 1000m resolutions
  • Caveat: Certain pixels are being repeated in the seven-day composites, creating artifacts
    • Appears only in areas of high terrain (e.g. Rocky Mountains)
    • Most obvious when using pixels far from nadir
  • Plans to address
    • Install the new L1 processing software, which contains SRTM DEMs
    • Reassess the terrain correction using the new L1 software
    • Revise existing composite algorithm to include distance from nadir
drought monitoring

II. VegDRI Modeling System



I. MODIS DB NDVI Processing System

Satellite RS




  • Smoothing
  • Metrics
  • (PASG, SOS Anomaly)





  • Ecoregions
  • Land cover
  • Soils
  • Irrigated Ag
  • SPI
  • PDSI


Determine calibration





2008 …>

III. Dissemination to Drought DSS



Point DB for Model Generation /CART

  • Weekly Products (Monday a.m.)
  • VegDRI
  • VegDRI difference
  • VegDRI with US drought vectors
  • VegDRI difference with US Drought vectors





Incorporate VegDRI into USDM

Drought Monitoring
near rt drought monitoring support
Near-RT Drought Monitoring Support
  • In FY06, NASA and USGS collaborative project to expand operational use of MODIS VI data in Drought Decision Support
  • MODIS DB to supply U.S. MODIS VI data into VegDRI modeling subsystem
    • Timely delivery of VI data versus standard MODIS products
    • Flexibility of composite period (rolling 7-day vs. fixed 16-day)
  • In the next three years, this system will
    • expand from current 7-state area to 48 states
    • automate calculation and delivery of VegDRI
    • Operational use of products in the construction of the U.S. Drought Monitor
evolution of fire science approach
Evolution of Fire Science Approach

Current Fire Danger Scenario


Time Series




Average NDVI

Current NDVI


Departure from






Transform AVHRR


New Development


Time Series



Long Term Continuity


Weekly Average NDVI

Derived from AVHRR


Current NDVI


Departure from





improved fire danger monitoring
Improved Fire Danger Monitoring
  • Greater temporal and spatial resolution (250m) of vegetation condition information
  • Use of MODIS DB enhances capability to integrate daily vegetation updates with daily weather data
  • Extends the Decision Support Systems beyond the AVHRR era
  • New or improved fire danger forecasting algorithms
long term relevance to usgs eros
Long-Term Relevance to USGS/EROS
  • An important component for Terrestrial Monitoring, enabling multi-resolution (1000m, 500m, 250m)
  • Long term continuity of wide field of view sensor data products with high temporal resolution to complement moderate spatial resolution Landsat data continuity
  • Continue to develop the institutional knowledge base for developing new products, new uses, and new users
  • Leverage funding opportunities, cross-project requirements, and strengths in science, engineering, and operations for timely delivery of relevant information for decision support
contact information
Contact Information

Karen Zanter

AmericaView Project Chief

USGS Center for EROS

Voice: (605) 594-6945