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 (EO) satellite missions jointly managed by NASA and the USGS.
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.
Ball Aerospace has more than six decades of experience providing leading-edge systems, delivering instruments that span the electromagnetic spectrum for a wide range of government and commercial applications to help predict the weather, map air quality and monitor the Earth’s environment. Ball Aerospace has contributed to the continuity of the current Landsat program with the Ball-built OLI flying on the Landsat 8 satellite and having delivered the OLI-2 instrument for Landsat 9.
“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, VP and GM, 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.”