About the ESL

Nan Walker

Message from the Director

Dr. Nan Walker

The LSU Earth Scan Laboratory is celebrating over 25 years of operation as LSU's on-campus satellite data receiving facility and image processing lab. The ESL captures, processes, and warehouses real-time data from a variety of NOAA and NASA satellites for use in research, teaching, and other remote sensing-related activities.

On this web site you can find real-time satellite data animations of the current weather, hurricanes, and ocean currents based on measurements of the GOES satellite. You can also view individual images or create your own animations from the MODIS, GOES, AVHRR, and VIIRS sensor products via our new image animator page. Visit the satellite schedule page to see today's satellite coverage. We always appreciate feedback, so let us know if you and questions or experience any problems with our site.

See more news and events from the ESL

Mission of the ESL

The mission of the Earth Scan Laboratory is to support research, education, and public service/emergency response with near real time or archival remotely sensed satellite data, including end-to-end processing, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of relevant datasets.
From its central location along the Gulf Coast, the ESL can capture satellite data covering the entire Gulf of Mexico, most of the Western Atlantic, the extreme Eastern Pacific, and the land mass from the Hudson Bay to the northern most part of South America. This data is permanently archived creating a growing record of environmental data for education, research, economic, and forensic applications. This satellite data is a valuable asset for management decision making that involves environmental conditions, such as:

Louisiana coastal region

A Brief History of the ESL

Antenna installatiion
Installation of X-band antenna
ESL Operations room
The ESL's operations room

The LSU Earth Scan Laboratory (ESL) was founded by Dr. Oscar Huh in collaboration with Coastal Studies Institute faculty on June 29, 1988. The lab, a facility of the Coastal Studies Institute is located in the Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex and is a part of the Dept. of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences in the School of the Coast and Environment. Dr. Nan Walker became the ESL Director in 2003. The ESL systems administrator (Alaric Haag) operates three antennas: a 1 meter L-band tracking antenna; a 3.6 meter S-band antenna; and a 4.4 meter X-band antenna. These antennas capture data from the following satellites/sensors: NOAA POES AVHRR, GOES-East GVAR, Terra-1 and Aqua-1 MODIS and Suomi NPP VIIRS. The ESL uses the SeaSpace TeraScan software for capturing, archiving, and initial processing of these satellite measurements. Initial funding was provided by the Louisiana Education Quality Support Fund. Subsequent funding for enhancements was provided by the Board of Regents, the Louisiana Technology Innovation Fund, the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness, and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.

A short article was written for the 50th anniversary of the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, in the College of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University. It traces the Earth Scan Lab from a dream of Founder Oscar Huh to the making of the lab into a center for emergency response activities for the State, supporter of advanced research and a classroom student training facility. The article, "A Brief History of the LSU Earth Scan Laboratory (1988-2021)", is available as a PDF download, and is part of a book, From Air to Land to Sea: 50 years of Educating Coastal Leaders, ISBN 978-692-03759-1, 2021, that was published in celebration of the event.

Mailing Address

LSU Earth Scan Laboratory
Coastal Studies Institute
331 Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-7257

Phone: (225) 578-2957
FAX: (225) 578-2520


    Oscar  Huh (1935-2013)

    Oscar Huh (1935-2013) , Founder & Director Emeritus

    Shih-Ang  Hsu

    Shih-Ang Hsu , Professor, Emeritus
    Phone: 225-578-2395
    Email: sahsu@lsu.edu


    Alaric  Haag

    Alaric Haag , Systems Administrator
    Phone: 225-578-2957
    Email: haag@lsu.edu