Persistent satellite observations are essential for monitoring and understanding Earth’s environmentally sensitive and rapidly changing Arctic region. Compact wide-field-of-view imagers aboard satellites in Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) could stare at the Arctic and collect multispectral, high dynamic range visible and near-infrared imagery with sensitivity similar to that of the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band (DNB) in sun synchronous polar orbit. These HEO Day/Night Imagers (HDNIs) provide high contrast visible wavelength imagery through the long polar night. Their dynamic range –– extending from the brightest sunlit clouds, ice and snow to reflected moonlight from open water –– enables cloud, ice and sea surface discrimination even under very low light and low thermal contrast conditions. Rapidly refreshed HDNI data results in frequent updates to key environmental products such as cloud imagery and microphysical properties, ice and open water distribution (including real-time maps of where leads are opening and new ice is forming), vector ice motion and vector polar winds from cloud motion. The relatively small size of HDNIs makes them ideal for deployment as a hosted payload or as the primary payload onboard a small satellite.
This presentation discusses a new class of optical devices for observing the earth and its atmosphere that can be used to
correct for the loss of image resolution due to earth curvature effects as you approach the edge of the earth disk as
viewed from a satellite. These devices are primarily intended for use with two-dimensional CCD imaging arrays,
including hyperspectral remote sensing systems viewing the earth from geostationary orbit. In this configuration they
offer the possibility of uniform spatial resolution imagery extending across virtually the entire earth disk. The
technology, however, can also be adapted to provide data with a uniform sensor resolution over broad sensing swaths
using linear sensor arrays on satellites in low earth orbit, or from any of a variety of conical scanning instruments.