The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) is planning to launch the Landsat 8 satellite in December 2012, which continues an uninterrupted record of consistently calibrated globally acquired multispectral images of the Earth started in 1972. The satellite will carry two imaging sensors: the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). The OLI will provide visible, near-infrared and short-wave infrared data in nine spectral bands while the TIRS will acquire thermal infrared data in two bands. Both sensors have a pushbroom design and consequently, each has a large number of detectors to be characterized. Image and calibration data downlinked from the satellite will be processed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center using the Landsat 8 Image Assessment System (IAS), a component of the Ground System. In addition to extracting statistics from all Earth images acquired, the IAS will process and trend results from analysis of special calibration acquisitions, such as solar diffuser, lunar, shutter, night, lamp and blackbody data, and preselected calibration sites. The trended data will be systematically processed and analyzed, and calibration and characterization parameters will be updated using both automatic and customized manual tools. This paper describes the analysis tools and the system developed to monitor and characterize on-orbit performance and calibrate the Landsat 8 sensors and image data products.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.