Next-Generation Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer

The NASA Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) has been in operation since 1989 acquiring contiguous spectral measurements between 380 and 2510 nm for use by a range of terrestrial ecology science investigations related to: (1) pattern and spatial distribution of ecosystems and their components, (2) ecosystem function, physiology and seasonal activity, (3) biogeochemical cycles, (3) changes in disturbance activity, and (4) ecosystems and human health. While AVIRIS continue to make unique and significant science contributions, such as its deployment to the Gulf of Louisiana in May 2010 for the assessment of the amount of oil spilled by the offshore well, the need for a new sensor to share AVIRIS’ workload and to eventually replace AVIRIS is inevitable. Indeed, since the late summer of 2009 a new NASA Earth Science airborne sensor called the Next Generation Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRISng) is being developed by JPL through the funding support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The technical and programmatic oversights of the AVIRISng development is provided by NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO).

Similar to its predecessor, the AVIRIS-NG is being designed to be compatible with a broad array of possible aircraft platforms, such as NASA’s ER-2 jet, the Twin Otter turboprop, B200 King Air, and NASA’s Gulfstream III and V.

Instrument Type: 
Measurements: 
Aircraft: 
ER-2 - AFRC, Twin Otter, Glufstream V - JSC, Gulfstream III - LaRC
Point(s) of Contact: 

Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer

AVIRIS is the second in a series of imaging spectrometer instruments developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for earth remote sensing. It is a unique optical sensor that delivers calibrated images of the upwelling spectral radiance in 224 contiguous spectral channels (bands) with wavelengths from 380 to 2510 nanometers. It uses scanning optics and four spectrometers to image a 677 pixel swath simultaneously in all 224 bands. AVIRIS has flown in North America, Europe, and portions of South America.

The AVIRIS sensor collects data that can be used for characterization of the Earth's surface and atmosphere from geometrically coherent spectroradiometric measurements. This data can be applied to studies in the fields of oceanography, environmental science, snow hydrology, geology, volcanology, soil and land management, atmospheric and aerosol studies, agriculture, and limnology. Applications under development include the assessment and monitoring of environmental hazards such as toxic waste, oil spills, and land/air/water pollution. With proper calibration and correction for atmospheric effects, the measurements can be converted to ground reflectance data which can then be used for quantitative characterization of surface features.

Instrument Type: 
Measurements: 
Aircraft: 
Point(s) of Contact: 

Airborne Ocean Color Imager

The AOCI is a high altitude multispectral scanner built by Daedalus Enterprises, designed for oceanographic remote sensing. It provides 10-bit digitization of eight bands in the visible/near-infrared region of the spectrum, plus two 8-bit bands in the near and thermal infrared.

Instrument Type: 
Measurements: 
Aircraft: 
Point(s) of Contact: 

Autonomous Modular Sensor

The Autonomous Modular Sensor (AMS) is an airborne scanning spectrometer that acquires high spatial resolution imagery of the Earth's features from its vantage point on-board low and medium altitude research aircraft. Data acquired by AMS is helping to define, develop, and test algorithms for use in a variety of scientific programs that emphasize the use of remotely sensed data to monitor variation in environmental conditions, assess global change, and respond to natural disasters.

Instrument Type: 
Measurements: 
Aircraft: 
Point(s) of Contact: 

Cloud Absorption Radiometer

CAR is a multi-wavelength scanning radiometer for determining albedo of clouds in the visible and near-infrared and measuring the angular distribution of scattered radiation and bidirectional reflectance of various surface types. It acquires imagery of cloud and Earth surface features.

For details, visit: https://car.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Instrument Type: 
Measurements: 
Aircraft: 
J-31, P-3 Orion - WFF, Convair 580 NRC, Naval Research Lab (NRL) P-3 Orion, C-131A University of Washington
Point(s) of Contact: 

Airborne Multi-angle SpectroPolarimeter Imager

The Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager, or AirMSPI, was a candidate for the multi-directional, multi-wavelength, high-accuracy polarization imager identified by the National Research Council's Earth Sciences Decadal Survey as one component of the notional Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem, or ACE, mission. The ACE spacecraft was planned to characterize the role of aerosols in climate forcing, especially their impact on precipitation and cloud formation. Forcing is the process by which natural mechanisms or human activities alter the global energy balance and “force” the climate to change. The unresolved effects of aerosols on clouds are among the greatest uncertainties in predicting global climate change. AirMSPI is conceptually similar to JPL’s Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, or MISR, carried on NASA’s EOS Terra spacecraft, but with some important additions. The new camera design extends the spectral range to the ultraviolet and shortwave infrared (from 446–866 nm to 355–2130 nm), increases the image swath (from 360 km to 680 km) to achieve more rapid global coverage (from 9 days to 4 days), and adds high-accuracy polarimetry in selected spectral bands. Like MISR, a suite of AirMSPI cameras would view Earth at a variety of angles, with an intrinsic pixel size of a few hundred meters, which for certain channels would be averaged up to about 1 kilometer.
An advanced version of this instrument is currently in devleopment, called AirMSPI-2. 

Instrument Type: 
Measurements: 
Aircraft: 
Point(s) of Contact: 

Airborne Earth Science Microwave Imaging Radiometer

The Airborne Earth Science Microwave Imaging Radiometer (AESMIR) is a passive microwave airborne imager covering the 6-100 GHz bands that are essential for observing key Earth System elements such as precipitation, snow, soil moisture, ocean winds, sea ice, sea surface temperature, vegetation, etc.

AESMIR’s channels are configured to enable it to simulate various channels on multiple satellite radiometers, including AMSR-E, SSMI, SSMIS, AMSU, ATMS, TMI, GMI, ATMS, & MIS. Programmable scan modes include conical and cross-track scanning. As such, AESMIR can serve as an inter-satellite calibration tool for constellation missions (e.g., GPM) as well as for long-term multi-satellite data series (Climate Data Records).

The most unique/cutting edge feature of the instrument is its coverage of key water cycle microwave bands in a single mechanical package—making efficient & cost-effective use of limited space on research aircraft, and maximizing the possibilities for co-flying with other instruments to provide synergistic science. State-of-the-art calibration, fully-polarimetric (4-Stokes) observations, and the ability to accommodate large/heavy sensors (up to 300 kg) are other features of AESMIR. AESMIR currently flies on the NASA P-3 aircraft.

With these capabilities, AESMIR is an Earth Science facility for new microwave remote sensing discovery, pre-launch algorithm development, and post-launch Calibration/Validation activities, as well as serving as a technology risk reduction testbed for upcoming spaceborne radiometers. In the latter role, AESMIR is already supporting the GPM, Aquarius, and SMAP missions.

Instrument Type: 
Point(s) of Contact: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Imagery