From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2016
Recent years have seen a rise in the development of concepts for constellations of SmallSats or Cubesats for Earth Observation remote sensing. These constellations focus on visible RGB imagery or multi-band imagery from a handful of wide-bands in the visible or near infrared wavelengths.
Mid-wave infrared (MWIR) data provides a unique measurement, able to be operated both for day and night imaging. Recent developments in infrared detectors and the miniaturization of cryocooler technology enable this instrument be packaged in a Cubesat form-factor. Data products derived from the MWIR measurement have been shown to be beneficial in agricultural decision making process, specifically in irrigation and water use.
Planetary Resources is developing a MWIR instrument operating across the 3-5um wavelength for the purpose of prospecting near-Earth asteroids. In turning the gaze of the sensors to nadir from low-Earth orbit, a unique dataset is created that is currently lacking from existing commercial Earth observation platforms.
This paper presents the MWIR instrument, its measurement from low-Earth orbit and its potential for near-Earth asteroid exploration.
Kevin Lalli, Matthew Beasley, and Chris Voorhees, "CubeSats for action: A MWIR instrument guiding decisions in precision agriculture
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9978, CubeSats and NanoSats for Remote Sensing, 99780F (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 31, 2016; Published: 12 January 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238292.5178875885001.
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