Landsat Thermal Band
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) was reinvigorated in December, 2005 when Dr. John H. Marburger, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, issued a memorandum directing NASA to "...acquire a single Landsat data continuity mission in the form of a free-flyer spacecraft to collect the required land surface data and deliver its data to the Department of the Interior (DOI) / United States Geological Survey (USGS)." The memo emphasizes the need for both near-term and long-term data continuity in the Landsat program.
The LDCM was launched on February 11, 2013, with a thermal infrared sensor (TIRS). The LDCM will be renamed Landsat 8 after it becomes operational at the end of May.
Water-resource applications have a critical need for thermal data and those data must be maintained on future Landsat satellites.
NASA - Landsat Data Continuity Mission
USGS - Landsat Data Continuity Mission
The Western States' Need for a Landsat Thermal Infrared Sensor