NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

Thematic Mapper (TM)

NSSDCA ID: 1984-021A-01

Mission Name: Landsat 5
Principal Investigator:Dr. John L. Barker


The Thematic Mapper (TM) was a seven-band, earth-looking, scanning radiometer with a 30-m ground element resolution covering a 185-km ground swath from a 705-km altitude. The instrument consisted of primary imaging optics, scanning mechanism, spectral band discrimination optics, detector arrays, radiative cooler, inflight calibrator, and required operating and processing electronics. The scanning mechanism provided the cross-track scan while the progress of the spacecraft provided the scan along the track. Seven spectral bands were used to provide the spectral signature capability of the instrument: band 1, 0.45-0.52 micrometer; band 2, 0.52-0.60 micrometer; band 3, 0.63-0.69 micrometer; band 4, 0.76-0.90 micrometer; band 5, 1.55-1.75 micrometers; band 6, 10.40-12.50 micrometers; and band 7, 2.08-2.35 micrometers. The optical system imaged an area on the earth's surface 30 m by 30 m (120 m by 120 m for band 6). Several lines were scanned simultaneously to permit suitable dwell time for each resolution element. The variation in radiant flux passing through the field stop onto the photo and thermal detectors created an electrical output that represented the radiant history of the line. The information outputs from the detector channels were processed in the TM multiplexer for transmission via the Tracking And Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) and/or direct readout to local receiving stations. Archival data were available through the EROS Data Center, Department of Commerce, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Alternate Names

  • Landsat5/TM
  • TM

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications (United States)


  • Earth Science: Land Surface Processes

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. John L. BarkerPrincipal InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight
[] NASA Logo -