The temporal variability, or phenology, of animals and plants in coastal zone and marine habitats is a function of geography and climatic conditions, of the chemical and physical characteristics of each particular habitat, and of interactions between these organisms. These conditions play an important role in defining the diversity of life. The quantitative study of phenology is required to protect and make wise use of wetland and other coastal resources. We describe a low cost space-borne sensor and mission concept that will enable such studies using high quality, broad band hyperspectral observations of a wide range of habitats at Landsat-class spatial resolution and with a 3 day or better revisit rate, providing high signal to noise observations for aquatic scenes and consistent view geometry for wetland and terrestrial vegetation scenes.
BIRC is a multispectral infrared imager designed to operate in 8 bandpasses between 2.5 and 5.0 μm utilizing a cryocooled
HgCdTe detector and Ø80 cm telescope. The instrument was flown on a ballooncraft platform and operated in a
near-space environment. BIRC was designed to measure the water and CO2 emissions from the comet ISON. The system
produces an f/4 image over a field of view of 3 arcminutes, and employs shift/co-add algorithms to observe dim objects.
An innovative thermal design holds the system components in separate vacuum and atmospheric zones which are
independent of the neighboring instrument deck. This paper summarizes the design, test and integration of the BIRC
The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, (CRISM) is a visible-infrared imaging spectrometer that
has been operating aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) since November 2006. To achieve high spatial and
spectral resolution CRISM's optical sensor unit (OSU) is gimbaled so that apparent along track motion can be removed
by the scan system. Our paper describes the data processing flow, the physical scan control system and the performance
achieved so far in orbit around Mars.
Wavelet image compression provides high compression ratios without producing noticeable visible artifacts. However,
wavelet image compression can be expensive in terms of memory usage and computational complexity. This paper
describes a low-cost algorithm suitable for implementation in Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs).
NASA is planning missions to small planetary bodies in which low-risk high-accuracy soft-landing must be
accomplished independent of ground control. Accurate estimates of range, descent rate, attitude, and translational drift
rate are needed for precision landings (< 1 m CEP) in low gravity. Operational ranges for the landing phase are
expected to vary from a kilometer down to one meter. Poorly characterized landing sites may require real-time obstacle
avoidance. Although passive sensors are being considered, active sensors enable the spacecraft to exploit more optimal
measurement techniques in which surface illumination is controlled by design rather than accommodated by default.
This paper addresses the development and validation of a robust combination of sensors, which reduce risks while
minimizing spacecraft mass and power. This paper describes the design, test, and evaluation of two sensors: a miniature
pulsed Nd:YAG lidar and a Ka-band CW Doppler radar. These sensors are co-bore sighted on a two-axis gimbal, along
with an inertial measurement unit and a data acquisition PC on a mobile test-bed. Test results will be presented and
discussed for conditions that emulate appropriate landing operations. Fixed test structures with corner reflector targets
are used to validate this approach and calibrate sensor sensitivity to different geometries and kinematics.
CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) is a hyperspectral imager that will be launched on the MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) spacecraft in August 2005. MRO’s objectives are to recover climate science originally to have been conducted on the Mars Climate Orbiter (MCO), to identify and characterize sites of possible aqueous activity to which future landed missions may be sent, and to characterize the composition, geology, and stratigraphy of Martian surface deposits. MRO will operate from a sun-synchronous, near-circular (255x320 km altitude), near-polar orbit with a mean local solar time of 3 PM. CRISM’s spectral range spans the ultraviolet (UV) to the mid-wave infrared (MWIR), 383 nm to 3960 nm. The instrument utilizes a Ritchey-Chretien telescope with a 2.12° field-of-view (FOV) to focus light on the entrance slit of a dual spectrometer. Within the spectrometer, light is split by a dichroic into VNIR (visible-near-infrared, 383-1071 nm) and IR (infrared, 988-3960 nm) beams. Each beam is directed into a separate modified Offner spectrometer that focuses a spectrally dispersed image of the slit onto a two dimensional focal plane (FP). The IR FP is a 640 x 480 HgCdTe area array; the VNIR FP is a 640 x 480 silicon photodiode area array. The spectral image is contiguously sampled with a 6.6 nm spectral spacing and an instantaneous field of view of 61.5 μradians. The Optical Sensor Unit (OSU) can be gimbaled to take out along-track smear, allowing long integration times that afford high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at high spectral and spatial resolution. The scan motor and encoder are controlled by a separately housed Gimbal Motor Electronics (GME) unit. A Data Processing Unit (DPU) provides power, command and control, and data editing and compression. CRISM acquires three major types of observations of the Martian surface and atmosphere. In Multispectral Mapping Mode, with the gimbal pointed at planet nadir, data are collected at frame rates of 15 or 30 Hz. A commandable subset of wavelengths is saved by the DPU and binned 5:1 or 10:1 cross-track. The combination of frame rates and binning yields pixel footprints of 100 or 200 m. In this mode, nearly the entire planet can be mapped at wavelengths of key mineralogic absorption bands to select regions of interest. In Targeted Mode, the gimbal is scanned over ±60° from nadir to remove most along-track motion, and a region of interest is mapped at full spatial and spectral resolution. Ten additional abbreviated, pixel-binned observations are taken before and after the main hyperspectral image at longer atmospheric path lengths, providing an emission phase function (EPF) of the site for atmospheric study and correction of surface spectra for atmospheric effects. In Atmospheric Mode, the central observation is eliminated and only the EPF is acquired. Global grids of the resulting lower data volume observation are taken repeatedly throughout the Martian year to measure seasonal variations in atmospheric properties.
The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) will launch in 2005 on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission, with its primary science objective to characterize sites with aqueous mineral deposits hyperspectrally at high spatial resolution. CRISM’s two Offner relay spectrometers share a single entrance slit with a dichroic beamsplitter. The IR focal plane contains a 640 (spatial) x 480 (spectral) HgCdTe FPA with a 980 nm to 3960 nm spectral bandpass. It is cooled to 110 K to minimize dark current, and coupled to a 28 mm long cold shield to minimize thermal background. The spectrometer housing is cooled to -90 C for the same reason. A three-zone IR filter consisting of two broadband filters and a linear variable filter overlays the IR focal plane, eliminating multiple grating orders and providing additional attenuation of the thermal background. The visible focal plane contains a 640 (spatial) x 480 (spectral) silicon photodiode array, with a 380-1050 nm spectral bandpass occupying approximately 106 rows of the detector. A two-zone filter comprised of two different Schott glasses eliminates multiple grating orders. The two focal planes together cover 544 spectral channels with a dispersion of 6.55 nm/channel in the VNIR and 6.63 nm/channel in the IR. The optics and focal planes are gimbaled, and a pre-programmed slew can be used to remove groundtrack motion while superimposing a scan across a target. CRISM will operate in two basic modes: a scanning, high resolution mode to hyperspectrally map small, targeted areas of high scientific interest, and a fixed, nadir-pointed, lower resolution pixel-binned mode using selected wavelength channels to obtain near-global coverage to find targets. Preliminary performance of the CRISM instrument is presented, and is compared with prior system design predictions.
The CONTOUR Remote Imager and Spectrometer (CRISP) was a multi-function optical instrument developed for the Comet Nucleus Tour Spacecraft (CONTOUR). CONTOUR was a NASA Discovery class mission launched on July 3, 2002. This paper describes the design, fabrication, and testing of CRISP. Unfortunately, the CONTOUR spacecraft was destroyed on August 15, 2002 during the firing of the solid rocket motor that injected it into heliocentric orbit. CRISP was designed to return high quality science data from the solid nucleus at the heart of a comet. To do this during close range (order 100 km) and high speed (order 30 km/sec) flybys, it had an autonomous nucleus acquisition and tracking system which included a one axis tracking mirror mechanism and the ability to control the rotation of the spacecraft through a closed loop interface to the guidance and control system. The track loop was closed using the same images obtained for scientific investigations. A filter imaging system was designed to obtain multispectral and broadband images at resolutions as good as 4 meters per pixel. A near IR imaging
spectrometer (or hyperspectral imager) was designed to obtain spectral signatures out to 2.5 micrometers with resolution of better than 100 meters spatially. Because of the high flyby speeds, CRISP was designed as a highly automated instrument with close coupling to the spacecraft, and was intended to obtain its best data in a very short period around closest approach. CRISP was accompanied in the CONTOUR science payload by CFI, the CONTOUR Forward Imager. CFI was optimized for highly sensitive observations at greater ranges. The two instruments provided highly complementary optical capabilities, while providing some degree of functional redundancy.
In January 1996, the Flare Genesis Experiment was carried for 19 days by a 29.4 M cu. ft helium-filled balloon in the stratosphere above Antarctica, during which over 14000 images of the Sun were recorded. Long-duration ballooning provides a relatively inexpensive means to observe the Sun under near-space conditions and to develop instrumentation and techniques that will be used on future solar space missions. The purpose of the flight was to improve understanding of the mechanisms involved in many different types of solar activity, particularly flares and solar filament eruptions. Achieving this goal demanded the development of a platform for an 80-cm F/1.5 optical telescope that would be stable to 10 arcseconds. In addition, we developed an image motion compensation system capable of holding the Sun's image to better than the system's 0.2 arcsecond diffraction limit. Other key elements on board included a lithium-niobate Fabry-Perot etalon filter to provide a tunable 0.016-nm bandpass over a wide wavelength range, a fast 1534 X 1024-pixel Kodak CCD camera, and 180 GBytes of on-board storage. There was also a system for sending commands and receiving telemetry and a high-speed downlink for sending images during periods when the payload was in line of sight of the ground station. On- board computers provided a command and control system capable of near-autonomous operation. During most of the flight, contact with the payload was sporadic, so operation was primarily under autonomous control.
Tip/tilt mirrors are widely used to stabilize astronomical images during integration because tip/tilt image stabilization systems provide a large gain in image quality with a relatively simple control system[KM93,Mc93,0193]. In solar vector magnetographs the polarization analysis section generally precedes the fip/tilt mirror to avoid systematic polarization errors[Ru88,R091]. This causes a magnification of the apparent pointing errors so that the dynamic range requirements for a tip/tilt mirror are multiplied by the magnification. We have used tip/tilt mirrors based on high voltage piezo electric stacks. These units have relatively limited throw of +/- 65 arcsec, and require stack voltages of 0 to 1000 volts. In addition these units displayed a high Q resonance around 200 Hz which limited the stable closed loop image stabilization bandwidth to around 20 to 30 Hz. The tip/tilt system in our ground based instrument at Sacramento Peak Observatory has always been limited by the limited dynamic range of the tip/tilt mirror[St90,St92].