Ball Aerospace has sent two small land imaging instruments to orbit for final flights as part of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey's Landsat program.
The company said Tuesday the Landsat team launched the two NASA Sustainable Land Imaging technologies to demonstrate Earth observation activities in compact airborne packages.
The Compact Hyperspectral Prism Spectrometer – Airborne and Reduced Envelope Multispectral Imager – Airborne instruments currently operate aboard the Landsat 8 satellite, which also carries the Ball Aerospace-built Operational Land Imager.
CHPS-AB is 30 percent smaller than OLI and designed to ingest data in the visible to shortwave infrared bands within the electromagnetic spectrum. The Landsat team expects technology to support applications such as plant-species categorization and mineral mapping.
REMI-AB transmits data in the visible through thermal bands and operates similarly to OLI and the Thermal Infrared Sensor instrument.
Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager for civil space at Ball Aerospace, said the company is “working closely“ with the land imaging community to demonstrate the capacities of REMI and CHPS while discovering ways of delivering scientific technologies in compact packages.
The recent flights come after Ball Aerospace delivered the OLI-2 platform for the planned Landsat 9 mission.