Principal Investigator: James D. Spinhirne, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Proposal Title: A Compact Multispectral Infrared and Visible Spectral Imaging Radiometer for Cloud Surface Observations from Small Spacecraft, Engineering
The broad goal of the effort is to enable earth science missions that involve a greater combination of remote sensing measurements by development of much smaller and lower cost infrared and visible imaging radiometers as are required or desired for nearly all multi-sensor missions. A compact low cost imaging system is to be developed based on the new technology for uncooled micobolometer focal plane array detectors. Reduction is size and cost is due to the elimination of detector cooling requirements and smaller optics from the greatly increased instrument throughput obtained by the array detector. The work is a continuation and extension of a shuttle hitchhiker experiment flown in August, 1997 for an experimental multi-spectral, thermal infrared, pushbroom imager based on a early prototype 320x240 microbolometer array detector. The experience allows the development of an engineering model of an operational imager for small satellite missions. The proposal addresses the issues of operation and calibration design of a practical imager. The goal is a 5 to 10 kg class functional instrument. The most potentially effective design for a combined pushbroom visible and IR imager will be studied. An engineering model of a satellite instrument of the chosen design will be constructed and fully tested.