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24 May 2012 A low cost thermal infrared hyperspectral imager for small satellites
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Abstract
The growth of the small satellite market and launch opportunities for these satellites is creating a new niche for earth observations that contrasts with the long mission durations, high costs, and long development times associated with traditional space-based earth observations. Low-cost, short-lived missions made possible by this new approach provide an experimental platform for testing new sensor technologies that may transition to larger, more long-lived platforms. The low costs and short lifetimes also increase acceptable risk to sensors, enabling large decreases in cost using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) parts and allowing early-career scientists and engineers to gain experience with these projects. We are building a low-cost long-wave infrared spectral sensor, funded by the NASA Experimental Project to Stimulate Competitive Research program (EPSCoR), to demonstrate ways in which a university's scientific and instrument development programs can fit into this niche. The sensor is a low-mass, power-efficient thermal hyperspectral imager with electronics contained in a pressure vessel to enable use of COTS electronics and will be compatible with small satellite platforms. The sensor, called Thermal Hyperspectral Imager (THI), is based on a Sagnac interferometer and uses an uncooled 320x256 microbolometer array. The sensor will collect calibrated radiance data at long-wave infrared (LWIR, 8-14 microns) wavelengths in 230 meter pixels with 20 wavenumber spectral resolution from a 400 km orbit. We are currently in the laboratory and airborne testing stage in order to demonstrate the spectro-radiometric quality of data that the instrument provides.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
S. T. Crites, P. G. Lucey, R. Wright, H. Garbeil, K. A. Horton, and M. Wood "A low cost thermal infrared hyperspectral imager for small satellites", Proc. SPIE 8385, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications V, 838509 (24 May 2012); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.918984
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