A CubeSat approach to atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) in the Midwave Infrared
Presenting Author: Michael Kelly
Organization: JHU / APL
Co-Author(s): Dong L. Wu, James L. Carr, Sam Yee, John Boldt, Arnold Goldberg, Ivan Papusha, Renee Meinhold, Lauren Mehr
The Compact Midwave Imaging System (CMIS) under development as a NASA ESTO Instrument Incubator Program (IIP) project is designed as a small-size, low-weight, and low-power instrument suite that provides radiometrically calibrated multi-spectral, multi-angle wide-swath observations in the visible-midwave infrared of clouds, aerosols, and other particulates. CMIS will employ stereo techniques from two leader-follower satellites (LEO-LEO) or from different vantage points (LEO-GEO), to derive cloud heights and atmospheric motion vectors that are free of the ambiguities in height assignment and along-track motions that are apparent in current earth-observing missions. The dual-satellite and multi-platform stereo imaging techniques require no synchronization among the sensors on different platforms. In the case of leader-follower configurations, the formation flight is loosely constrained, allowing CMIS to be accommodated on free-flying CubeSat and hosted on SmallSat. Airborne flight tests of the new instrument are scheduled for October 2019. A key focus of the flight tests will be to evaluate the capability of the instrument to meet science objectives described in the 2017 Earth Science Decadal Survey for atmospheric motion vectors and cloud-top heights in the planetary boundary layer. This presentation will describe the current status of the CMIS instrument build and the planning for the aircraft test campaign, as well as their future applications in cost-effective CubeSat/SmallSat constellations.