This paper presents details of the SkySat-1 mission, which is the first microsatellite-class commercial earth- observation system to generate sub-meter resolution panchromatic imagery, in addition to sub-meter resolution 4-band pan-sharpened imagery. SkySat-1 was built and launched for an order of magnitude lower cost than similarly performing missions. The low-cost design enables the deployment of a large imaging constellation that can provide imagery with both high temporal resolution and high spatial resolution. One key enabler of the SkySat-1 mission was simplifying the spacecraft design and instead relying on ground- based image processing to achieve high-performance at the system level. The imaging instrument consists of a custom-designed high-quality optical telescope and commercially-available high frame rate CMOS image sen- sors. While each individually captured raw image frame shows moderate quality, ground-based image processing algorithms improve the raw data by combining data from multiple frames to boost image signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and decrease the ground sample distance (GSD) in a process Skybox calls digital TDI". Careful qual-ity assessment and tuning of the spacecraft, payload, and algorithms was necessary to generate high-quality panchromatic, multispectral, and pan-sharpened imagery. Furthermore, the framing sensor configuration en- abled the first commercial High-Definition full-frame rate panchromatic video to be captured from space, with approximately 1 meter ground sample distance. Details of the SkySat-1 imaging instrument and ground-based image processing system are presented, as well as an overview of the work involved with calibrating and validating the system. Examples of raw and processed imagery are shown, and the raw imagery is compared to pre-launch simulated imagery used to tune the image processing algorithms.
Developing and testing advanced ground-based image processing systems for earth-observing remote sensing applications presents a unique challenge that requires advanced imagery simulation capabilities. This paper presents an earth-imaging multispectral framing camera simulation system called PayloadSim (PaySim) capable of generating terabytes of photorealistic simulated imagery. PaySim leverages previous work in 3-D scene-based image simulation, adding a novel method for automatically and efficiently constructing 3-D reflectance scenes by draping tiled orthorectified imagery over a geo-registered Digital Elevation Map (DEM). PaySim’s modeling chain is presented in detail, with emphasis given to the techniques used to achieve computational efficiency. These techniques as well as cluster deployment of the simulator have enabled tuning and robust testing of image processing algorithms, and production of realistic sample data for customer-driven image product development. Examples of simulated imagery of Skybox’s first imaging satellite are shown.
Intracoronary Raman spectroscopy could open new avenues for the study and management of coronary artery disease due to its potential to measure the chemical and molecular composition of coronary atherosclerotic lesions. We have fabricated and tested a 1.5-mm-diameter (4.5 Fr) Raman catheter capable of collecting Raman spectra in both the fingerprint (400–1800 cm−1) and high-wavenumber (2400–3800 cm−1) regions. Spectra were acquired in vivo, using a human-swine xenograft model, in which diseased human coronary arteries are grafted onto a living swine heart, replicating the disease and dynamic environment of the human circulatory system, including pulsatile flow and motion. Results show that distinct spectral differences, corresponding to the morphology and chemical composition of the artery wall, can be identified by intracoronary Raman spectroscopy in vivo.