Did NASA Calibrate Satellite Cameras Using Farmer’s Name Written in Field?

For some people, a simple signature on a piece of paper is enough, while others prefer to be different, choosing to carve their names on lots of square meters on a piece of land somewhere in the world. After all, the signature of each of us is unique, isn’t it?

Who made the world’s largest signature?

Jimmy Luecke, a Texas farmer, was responsible for this giant structure. After becoming a millionaire due to the oil business, he decided to invest some of his money by buying lands. In 1990, the herd that he raised on one of the lands became so large that he decided to make some space by cutting trees. So, he did not only that but also wrote his name in the land, thus creating the “Luecke” largest signature in the world.

Jimmy Luecke - World’s Largest Signature
Jimmy Luecke – World’s Largest Signature (Click here to see it on Google Maps)

Where is the largest signature in the world located?

The enormous signature is located outside Smithville, Texas, but it can also be seen on Google Maps. The signature covers three miles long.

How the giant signature was used by NASA?

According to the International Journal of Remote Sensing study that appeared in 2002, NASA used the signature’s all-caps letters “to estimate the maximum resolution of cameras aboard the space shuttle“.

We also made an empirical estimate of spatial resolution for lower contrast vegetation boundaries. By clearing forest so that a pattern would be visible to landing aircraft, a landowner outside Austin, Texas, created a target that is also useful for evaluating spatial resolution of astronaut photographs. The forest was selectively cleared in order to spell the landowner’s name ‘LUECKE’ with the remaining trees”,  wrote NASA’s scientists back then.

Is the “Luecke” signature still the largest in the world?

The sheik Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan appeared to be his first rival in 2011 when he wrote his first name in the desert. Measuring 1,000 x 3,000 meters, the signature disappeared shortly after, leaving Luecke’s signature the largest in the world.


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