The European Ariborne Remote Sensing Capabilities (EARSEC) is a program of the Commission of the European Union in coordination with the European Space Agency. Its goal is to establish an independent European state-of-the-art capability in remote sensing for a wide range of applications. The core instrument of the 'Optical' component of EARSEC is an Imaging Spectrometer (the Digital Airborne Imaging Spectrometer 7915 or DIAS 7915) built by Geophysical & Environmental Research Corporation (GER) and operated by DLR, Oberpfaffenhofen, in collaboration with JRC. The 79 channel high resolution Imaging Spectrometer (IS) covers the 0.4 to 12.3 micrometers wavelength range with a spectral resolution varying from 16 to 2000 nm. Operated from a Dornier 228 aircraft, the spatial resolution can vary between 3 and 15 m. The instrument is calibrated and improved at DLR and should be operational in 1995 for campaigns over Europe. The 'Optical' component of EARSEC also includes ground facilities, mainly an electro-optical (EO) processor developed for JRC by Earth Observation Sciences Limited in the United Kingdom for DAIS 7915 data processing. This processor will generate four levels of products, from simple ingestion, to calibration into physical units of radiance, to geolocation and geocoding. Collaborations are foreseen with European groups operating other advanced optical sensors such as the Italian LARA project, operating the MIVIS (IS comparable to the DAIS), and DLR, operating the ROSIS (developed for marine applications, covering the 430-850 nm region). The EO processor could be adapted in the future to handle other IS data for a more universal use.