This question already has an answer here:
The panchromatic band on Landsat 8 OLI sensor (band 8) covers a narrower portion of the spectrum than the corresponding band in Landsat 7 ETM+: 0.50 - 0.68 micrometers (L8 OLI) in contrast to 0.52 - 0.90 micrometers (L7 ETM+) (see complete tables here). Most remarkably, L8 OLI band 8 does not cover the near infrared, thus precluding pan sharpening in that portion of the spectrum and making up a significant difference with the L7 ETM+ panchromatic band. Why?
In this interesting blog post, the author mentions the issue without being able to find the logic behind it, and citing the explanation given by Irons et al (2012) “The OLI panchromatic band, band 8, is also narrower relative to the ETM + panchromatic band to create greater contrast between vegetated areas and surfaces without vegetation in panchromatic images" as not clear or insufficient, and hinting to possible design glitches.
I am also left wondering about this and could not find a decent explanation anywhere. Does anyone in this forum know why?
Irons, J.R. et al. (2012) The next Landsat satellite: The Landsat Data Continuity Mission. Remote Sens. Envion.,122, 11-21. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2011.08.026