Keeping an eye on Earth’s oceans for environmental issues, reviewing disaster recovery and humanitarian efforts and watching agricultural management was just made easier with super high resolution images from a space station platform built by Huntsville’s Teledyne Brown Engineering.
The German Aerospace Center’s Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS-30) on board Teledyne Brown Engineering’s Multi User System for Earth Sensing (MUSES) platform on the International Space Station (ISS) has reach full operational capacity. The collaboration between Teledyne Brown Engineering and the German Aerospace Center has been collecting 10 nm spectral resolution hyperspectral imagery since 2018, but now that the instrument calibration has been completed, the DESIS-30 can process and deliver high-quality 2.55 nm hyperspectral imagery.
“We have made amazing progress on this program in a very short amount of time,” said Jan Hess, president of Teledyne Brown Engineering. “The fact that we have achieved a spectral resolution of 2.55 nm, is a monumental victory for DLR and Teledyne Brown Engineering, NASA and Earth Observation community. We are ready to get this data into the hands of those that can use its finer spectral resolution to better understand the earth’s conditions and improve upon scientific research, commercial applications and humanitarian efforts.”
The first hyperspectral images from DESIS were transmitted back to Earth in October 2018. Since then, Teledyne Brown Engineering has built up an archive database with images that contain around 10 million square kilometers of hyperspectral data. And since ISS orbits the earth every 90 minutes, the opportunities for image acquisition are nearly limitless. The images are available through the partnership with German Aerospace Center, NASA and the Alabama Remote Sensing Consortium, as well as commercially available through Teledyne Brown Engineering.
In addition to monitoring changes to Earth’s condition, the DESIS-30 and MUSES pairing is groundbreaking for next generation sensors that can cost-effectively provide hyperspectral coverage at different spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions, allowing scientists to use the hyperspectral data in ways never thought possible.
MUSES was developed as part of a cooperative agreement with NASA and Teledyne Brown Engineering to create opportunities for both government and commercial applications. MUSES provides a precision-pointing environment on the ISS for earth-viewing instruments and can accommodate up to four payloads simultaneously, with the ability to robotically change, upgrade and service those instruments. The DESIS hyperspectral imager was the first payload on MUSES.