Sira completes low cost hyperspectral imager for latest environmental monitoring satellite

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 1 June 2000

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Citation

(2000), "Sira completes low cost hyperspectral imager for latest environmental monitoring satellite", Sensor Review, Vol. 20 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/sr.2000.08720bab.006

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited


Sira completes low cost hyperspectral imager for latest environmental monitoring satellite

Sira completes low cost hyperspectral imager for latest environmental monitoring satellite

Keywords: Sira, Environmental monitoring

Designed and built by Sira Electro-Optics, the innovative Compact High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (CHRIS) has been completed, just two years after the contract started - remarkably fast for a major space instrument (see Plate 2).

Plate 2 CHRIS completing its thermal vacuum chamber testing to ensure readiness for a space environment

Hyperspectral imagers provide simultaneous views of the Earth in many different wavebands, enabling a variety of surface features to be analysed.

CHRIS's main applications include environmental monitoring, forest inventory, regional yield forecasting and precision farming. Hyperspectral imaging also offers significant military potential, with both land and littoral applications.

Dr Mike Cutter, Sira's Head of Technology, says "CHRIS will collect vital and precise environmental data. It is precisely the kind of low mass, low cost instrument required by the new generation of small agile satellites."

CHRIS's compact, patented optics, with a novel geometric layout, have been designed for use in the latest small satellites to deliver superior images of the Earth. With a power consumption of less than nine watts and a mass of under 14kg, it outperforms much larger, previous generation instruments.

The CHRIS image covers an area of 18.6km square with a resolution of 25 metres. It operates simultaneously across 19 fully programmable spectral bands in the range 415 to 1,050 nanometres, with a spectral resolution of better than ten nanometres. Many more bands can be provided at reduced spatial resolution.

All refracting elements in the Sira optical system are made from fused silica and the design will operate to 2.5 micrometres, ensuring that future CHRIS payloads will easily be upgraded to operate in the short wave infra-red.

Its first flight will be on the European Space Agency's PROBA spacecraft, scheduled for launch early in 2001.

This 100kg spacecraft is intended to demonstrate how future vehicles will become increasingly autonomous, especially in the areas of platform control, data handling and storage systems.

For further information please contact: Sira Electro-Optics Limited, South Hill, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5EH, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 181 467 2636; Fax: +44 (0) 181 467 6515; E-mail: info@siraeo.co.uk WWW: www.sira.co.uk