Individual focal plane size, yield, and quality continue to improve, as does the technology required to combine these into
large tiled formats. As a result, next-generation pushbroom imagers are replacing traditional scanning technologies in
remote sensing applications.
Pushbroom architecture has inherently better radiometric sensitivity and significantly reduced payload mass, power, and
volume than previous generation scanning technologies. However, the architecture creates challenges achieving the
required radiometric accuracy performance. Achieving good radiometric accuracy, including image spectral and spatial
uniformity, requires creative optical design, high quality focal planes and filters, careful consideration of on-board
calibration sources, and state-of-the-art ground test facilities.
Ball Aerospace built the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) next-generation Operational Landsat Imager (OLI)
payload. Scheduled to launch in 2013, OLI provides imagery consistent with the historical Landsat spectral, spatial,
radiometric, and geometric data record and completes the generational technology upgrade from the Enhanced Thematic
Mapper (ETM+) whiskbroom technology to modern pushbroom technology afforded by advanced focal planes.
We explain how Ball’s capabilities allowed producing the innovative next-generational OLI pushbroom filter radiometer
that meets challenging radiometric accuracy or calibration requirements. OLI will improve the multi-decadal land
surface observation dataset dating back to the 1972 launch of ERTS-1 or Landsat 1.