In partnership with NASA, Ball Aerospace is demonstrating the operational Landsat program's next generation technology, having successfully completed the final airborne science flights of two compact, well-calibrated NASA Sustainable Land Imaging (SLI) instruments - the Reduced Envelope Multispectral Imager - Airborne (REMI-AB) and the Compact Hyperspectral Prism Spectrometer - Airborne (CHPS-AB).
Designed to demonstrate improved Landsat mission performance in compact instrument packages, the REMI-AB and CHPS-AB instruments have evolved over nearly four years of development, testing and airborne science flights to demonstrate technologies for potential use in the Landsat Program. The Landsat program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions jointly managed by NASA and the USGS.
"Working closely with the Land Imaging community, we successfully demonstrated the capabilities of the compact REMI-AB and CHPS-AB instruments," said Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager, Civil Space, Ball Aerospace. "In our commitment to science at any scale, we continue to innovate new ways to deliver high performing technology in increasingly compact packages."
At a more than 30 percent reduction in size from the Ball-built Operational Land Imager (OLI) currently flying on Landsat 8, the spaceborne CHPS would deliver visible through shortwave infrared data while enabling new science applications such as mineral mapping and categorizing plant species.
The spaceborne REMI would yield visible through thermal data that is equivalent to data currently delivered by Landsat's OLI and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) instruments, while being less than half the size of the combined instruments. These technology demonstrations would enable a flexible and sustainable next generation architecture for the Landsat program.
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NASA researchers track slowly splitting 'dent' in Earth's magnetic field
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Aug 18, 2020
A small but evolving dent in Earth's magnetic field can cause big headaches for satellites. Earth's magnetic field acts like a protective shield around the planet, repelling and trapping charged particles from the Sun. But over South America and the southern Atlantic Ocean, an unusually weak spot in the field - called the South Atlantic Anomaly, or SAA - allows these particles to dip closer to the surface than normal. Particle radiation in this region can knock out onboard computers and interfere ... read more