REMI (Reduced Envelope Multispectral Imager) is a new instrument developed by Ball Aerospace specifically for the Sustained Land Imaging (SLI) program. The goal of REMI is to meet the current Landsat mission requirements with a much smaller volume, lower cost payload. A lower single unit recurring cost enables economies of scale on multiple builds by leveraging non-recurring engineering costs. This lower cost enables multiple copies on-orbit at the same time for improved temporal sampling, an innovative approach to space segment reliability, and more frequent technology onramps. REMI achieves miniaturization through use of a common aperture for all spectral bands. REMI features a pointing mechanism that compensates for platform and ground motion while using cross-track, step-stare pointing to produce contiguous ground coverage in all spectral bands. The status of the REMI development and airborne flight testing will be presented.
Space imagery provides a unique resource for addressing environmental challenges associated with land cover change, land use, disaster relief, deforestation, regional planning and global change research. At Ball Aerospace, we are developing the Compact Hyperspectral Prism Spectrometer (CHPS) as a candidate imaging spectrometer technology for insertion into future Sustainable Land Imaging missions. The 2013 NRC report Landsat and Beyond: Sustaining and Enhancing the Nations Land Imaging Program recommended that the nation should “maintain a sustained, space-based, land-imaging program, while ensuring the continuity of 42-years of multispectral information.” In support of this, NASA’s Sustainable Land Imaging-Technology (SLI-T) program aims to develop technology for a new generation of smaller, more capable, less costly payloads that meet or exceed current Landsat imaging capabilities. CHPS is designed to meet these objectives, providing high-fidelity visible-to-shortwave spectroscopic information. CHPS supports continuity of legacy Landsat data products, but also, provides a path to enhanced capabilities in support of land, inland waters, and coastal waters science. CHPS features full aperture full optical path calibration, extremely low straylight, and low polarization sensitivity; all crucial performance parameters for achieving the demanding SLI measurement objectives. In support of our space-borne instrument development, we have developed an airborne instrument to provide representative spectroscopic data and data products. Now in the final year of this 3-year development program, we have completed our initial engineering airborne flights and are beginning science flights. We present initial results from laboratory characterization and calibration and from our engineering flights and close with an overview of instrument performance.