The Landsat 7 spacecraft and its Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) were launched on April 15, 1999. Pre-launch modeling of the ETM+ optical system predicted that modulation transfer function (MTF) performance would change on-orbit. A method was developed to monitor the along-scan MTF performance of the ETM+ sensor system using on-orbit data of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana. ETM+ image scan lines crossing the bridge were treated as multiple measurements of the target taken at varying sampling phases. These line measurements were interleaved to construct an over-sampled target profile for each ETM+ system transfer function. Model parameters were adjusted to achieve the best fit between the simulated profiles and the image measurements. The ETM+ modulation at the Nyquist frequency and the full width at half maximum of the point spread function were computed from the best-fit system transfer function model. Trending these parameters over time revealed apparent MTF performance degradation, observed mainly in the 15-meter resolution ETM+ panchromatic band. This confirmed the pre-launch model prediction that the panchromatic band was the most sensitive to changes in ETM+ optical performance.
James C. Storey, James C. Storey,
"Landsat 7 on-orbit modulation transfer function estimation", Proc. SPIE 4540, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites V, (12 December 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.450647; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.450647