An instrument concept that uses solid-state array imaging has been developed for a future land observing system. The design concept is responsive to a variety of use needs and provides improved capabilities over the planned Landsat Thematic Mapper. A comparison of the differing approaches to the instrument design was made, resulting in the selection of a concept which uses a spectrograph coupled to a line-array imager to provide simultaneous spatial and spectral resolution. The design provides an inherent solution to the problem of achieving precise registration among the spectral bands. Data processing on the focal plane is used to select the spectral bands and their band widths. Onboard capabilities include radiometric correction, selection of instantaneous field-of-view and swath width, and data compression.