This paper introduces a novel imaging spectrometer subsystem concept, the Smart Slit Assembly (SSA), that improves instrument performances and enables new features for future Earth Observation. Derived from CarbonSat (ESA study) requirements, a concept of an SSA based on MEMS micro-shutters/mirrors and associated instrument design aspects are presented. The SSA replaces the classical grating spectrometer slit aperture in the focal plane of the telescope with three core elements, namely an input multimode waveguide array followed by a spatial light modulator (SLM) and an output multimode waveguide array which ends at the slit aperture viewed by the spectrometer. The SLM’s in-and-outputs being coupled to waveguide arrays leads to an enhanced SLM with light de-coherence, polarization scrambling and scene/object homogenization capabilities. The additional advantage of this subsystem’s arrangement is that waveguide level homogeneous spatial light modulation can be achieved with spatially in-homogeneous coupling from in to output multimode waveguides, allowing new, simpler and less costly designs for the SLM part of the SSA. The SSA is particularly useful for instance to reduce stray light by scene/object selection or modulation (e.g. de-clouding, intensity equalization), relax on the required dynamic range of the detectors, increase spectral stability by waveguide level intensity homogenization/scrambling, continuous in-flight monitoring of the co-registration between two or several spectrometer channels and inflight monitoring of stray light.