Landsat 1-5 MSS L1

About Landsat 1-5 MSS Collection 2 Level-1 Data

Mission Information

The Landsat Multispectral Scanner System (MSS) sensors were carried onboard Landsats 1 to 5. It provides 4 spectral bands. Learn more about here.

Basic Facts

Spatial resolution68 m x 83 m (commonly resampled to 57 m, or 60 m)
SensorMultispectral Scanner System (MSS) with 4 spectral bands
Revisit time18 days for Landsats 1-3 and 16 days for Landsat 4-5
Spatial coverageWhole globe
Data availabilityLandsat 1 from July 1972 to January 1978
Landsat 2 from January 1975 to February 1982
Landsat 3 from March 1978 to March 1983
Landsat 4 from July 1982 to December 1993
Landsat 5 from 1984 to October 1992, and from June 2012 to January 2013

Accessing Data

To access data you need to send a POST request to our process API. The requested data will be returned as the response to your request. Each POST request can be tailored to get you exactly the data you require. To do this requires setting various parameters which depend on the collection you are querying. This chapter will help you understand the parameters for Landsat 1-5 MSS Level-1 data. For an overview of all API parameters see the API Reference.

Endpoint Locations

ServiceNotes coverage from July 1972 to October 1992 and from June 2012 to January 2013

Data type identifier: landsat-mss-l1

Use landsat-mss-l1 [1] (previously LMSSL1) as the value of the parameter in your API requests. This is mandatory and will ensure you get Landsat 1-5 MSS Level-1 data.

The collection is currently in the preview stage and might thus change.

[1]: landsat-mss-l1 stands for Landsat Multispectral Scanner System Level-1.

Filtering Options

This chapter will explain the object of the process API.


Sets the order of overlapping tiles from which the output result is mosaicked. Note that tiles will in most cases come from the same orbit/acquisition. The tiling is done by USGS for easier distribution.

mostRecentselected by default. The pixel will be selected from the tile, which was acquired most recentl
leastRecentsimilar to mostRecent but in reverse order
leastCCpixel is selected from tile with the least cloud coverage metadatanote that "per tile" information is used here, each covering about a 52,000 sq. km area, so this information is only an estimate.


Sets the upper limit for cloud coverage in percent based on the precomputed cloud coverage estimate for each tile as present in the tile metadata. Satellite data will therefore not be retrieved for tiles with a higher cloud coverage estimate. For example, by setting the value to 20, only tiles with at most 20% cloud coverage will be used. Note that this parameter is set per tile and might not be directly applicable to the chosen area of interest.


Selects product tiers.

TIER_1selects Tier 1 products
ALL_TIERSselected by default. selects Tier 1 and Tier 2 products

Processing Options

This chapter will explain the object of the process API.

upsamplingThe same as for S2L1C.
downsamplingThe same as for S2L1C.

Available Bands and Data

Information in this chapter is useful when defining input object in evalscript. Any string listed in the column Name can be an element of the input.bands array in your evalscript.

B01 [1]Green (500-600 nm)60m
B02 [1]Red (600-700 nm)60m
B03 [1]Ultra Red (700-800 nm)60m
B04 [1]Near Infrared (NIR) (800-1100 nm)60m
QA_RADSATRadiometric Saturation and Terrain Occlusion QA Band60m
VAAView (sensor) Azimuth Angle60m
VZAView (sensor) Zenith Angle60m
SAASun Azimuth Angle60m
SZASun Zenith Angle60m
dataMaskThe mask of data/no data pixels (more).N/A [2]

[1]: On Landsat 1-3, the bands 1-3 were from the RBV instrument (Return Beam Vidicon), and the bands from the MSS instrument were the bands 4-7. For the sake of consistency and given that there's no RBV data, we decided to name MSS bands of these Landsats also B01-B04, respectively.
[2]: dataMask has no source resolution as it is calculated for each output pixel.


The data values for each band in your custom script are presented in the default units as specified here. In case more than one unit is available for a given band, you may optionally set the value of input.units in your evalscript setup function to one of the options. Doing so will present data in that unit. The Source Format specifies how and with what precision the digital numbers from which the unit is derived are encoded. The Typical Range indicates what values are common for a given band and unit, however outliers can be expected.

BandsUnitSource FormatTypical RangeNotes
Optical bands
B01 - B04
REFLECTANCE [1]UINT80 - 0.4Higher values in infrared bands. Reflectance values can easily be above 1.
BQAN/AUINT16bit-packed combination [2]
QA_RADSATN/AUINT16bit-packed combination [2]
Angle bandsDegreesUINT16
dataMaskN/ABoolean0 - no data
1 - data

[1]: Top of the Atmosphere Reflectance, which is obtained using the scene center sun angle.
[2]: Info here.

Catalog API Capabilities

To access Landsat product metadata you need to send search request to our Catalog API. The requested metadata will be returned as JSON formatted response to your request.

Endpoint Locations

ServiceNotes availability and coverage is the same as in the basic facts

Collection identifier: landsat-mss-l1

Query extension

  • eo:cloud_cover cloud cover percentage

Distinct extension

  • date