Portable Remote Imaging Spectrometer

The coastal zone is home to a high fraction of humanity and increasingly affected by natural and human-induced events from tsunamis to toxic tidal blooms. Current satellite data provide a broad overview of these events but do not have the necessary spectral, spatial and temporal, resolution to characterize and understand these events.

To address this gap, a compact, lightweight, airborne Portable Remote Imaging SpectroMeter (PRISM) compatible with a wide range of piloted and Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platforms are curently being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Operating between the spectral range of 350 nm and 1050 nm, PRISM will offer high temporal resolution and below cloud flight altitudes to resolve spatial features as small as 30 cm. The sensor performance exceeds the state of the art in light throughput, spectral and spatial uniformity, and polarization insensitivity by factors of 2-10, while at the same time extending the spectral range into the ultraviolet. PRISM will also have a two-channel spot radiometer at short-wave infrared (SWIR) band (1240 nm and 1640 nm). It will be in co-alignment with the spectrometer in order to provide accurate atmospheric correction of the ocean color measurements.

The development of the PRISM instrument is supported by NASA Earth Science Division’s the Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry, Earth Science Technology, and Airborne Sciences programs within NASA’s Earth Science Division.

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HyMap

The HyMap scanner, built by Integrated Spectronics Inc of Sydney, Australia, has four spectrometers in the interval 0.45 to 2.45 micrometers excluding the two major atmospheric water absorption windows. The bandwidths are not constant, but vary between 15 and 18 nanometers. The scanner also has an on-board bright source calibration system, which is used to monitor the stability of the signal. The signal/noise ratio measured outside the aircraft with a sun angle of 30° and a 50% reflectance standard is more than 500/1 except near the major atmospheric water absorption bands. The scanner is mounted on a hydraulically actuated Zeiss-Jena SM 2000 stabilized platform. The platform provides +/- 5 degrees of pitch and roll correction. The yaw can be offset by +/- 20 degrees with +/- 8 degrees of stabilization. The platform provides a residual error in nadir pointing of less than 1 degree and reduces aircraft motion effects by a factor ranging from 10:1 to 30:1.

The basic HyMap specifications are:

IFOV: 2.5 mr along track, 2.0 mr across track (Spatial resolution 3.5–10 m)
FOV: 62 degrees (512 pixels)

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MODIS Airborne Simulator

The MODIS Airborne Simulator (MAS) is a multispectral scanner configured to approximate the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS), an instrument to be orbited on the NASA EOS-AM1 platform. MODIS is designed to measure terrestrial and atmospheric processes. The MAS was a joint project of Daedalus Enterprises, Berkeley Camera Engineering, and Ames Research Center. The MODIS Airborne Simulator records fifty spectral bands.

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Hyperspectral Thermal Emissions Spectrometer

The Hyperspectral Thermal Emissions Spectrometer (HyTES) instrument has 512 pixels across track with pixel sizes in the range of 5 to 50 m depending on aircraft flying height and 256 spectral channels between 7.5 and 12 µm. The HyTES design is built upon a Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) focal plane array (FPA) , a cryo-cooled Dyson Spectrometer and a high-efficiency, concave blazed grating, produced using E-beam lithography.

HyTES will be useful for a number of applications, including high-resolution surface temperature and emissivity measurements and volcano observations. HyTES measurements will also be used to help determine scientifically optimal band locations for the thermal infrared (TIR) instrument for the Decadal HyspIRI mission.

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MODIS/ASTER Airborne Simulator

The MASTER is similar to the MAS, with the thermal bands modified to more closely match the NASA EOS ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) satellite instrument, which was launched in 1998. It is intended primarily to study geologic and other Earth surface properties. Flying on both high and low altitude aircraft, the MASTER has been operational since early 1998.

Instrument Type: Multispectral Imager
Measurements: VNIR/SWIR/MWIR/LWIR Imagery

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Leonardo Airborne Simulator

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Hawaii Group for Environmental Aerosol Research

1) Time of Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (ToF-AMS)

Total and single particle characterization of volatile aerosol ionic and organic components (50-700nm). Uncertainty depends on species and concentration.

2) Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2)

Single particle measure of BC (soot) mass in particles and determination of mixed particle size and non-BC coating using laser scattering and incandescence. 70-700nm. Single particle counting up to 10,000 per sec.

3) A size-resolved thermo-optic aerosol discriminator (30 s avg.):

Aerosol size distribution from 0.12 up to 7.0 μm, often where most aerosol mass, surface area and optical effects are dominant. Uses a modified Laser Optical Particle Counter (OPC) and computer controlled thermal conditioning system is used upstream (airstream dilution dried). Characterizes aerosol components volatile at 150, 300 and 400C and refractory aerosol at 400C (sea salt, dust and soot/flyash). (Clarke, 1991, Clarke et al., 2004). Uncertianty about 15%

4) Condensation Nuclei - heated and unheated (available at 1Hz)

Two butanol based condensation nuclei (CN) counter (TSI 3010) count all particles between 0.01-3.0 um. Total CN, refractory CN (those remaining at 300C after sulfate is removed) and volatile CN (by difference) are obtained as a continuous readout as a fundamental air mass indicator (Clarke et al. 1996). Uncertainty ~ 5%.

5) Aerodynamic Particle Sizer – (APS-TSI3320) – (<5min/scan)

To further characterize larger “dry” particles, including dust, an APS is operated which sizes particles aerodynamically from 0.8 to 20 μm into 50 channels. Uncertainty~10%.

6) Differential Mobility Analyzer with thermal conditioning – (<3 min/scan)

Volatility tandem thermal differential mobility analyzer (VTTDMA) with thermal analysis that provides size information (mass, surface area, number distributions) and their state of mixing over the 0.01 to 0.3μm size range (Clarke et al., 1998, 2007) for sampling times of about 1-3 minutes. Uncertainty ~10%

7) Nephelometer (10-7 m-1 detection for 60s avg., recorded every 1 sec.)

A 3 wavelength nephelometer (450, 550, 700nm) is used for total scattering and submicrometer scattering values using a Radiance Research single wavelength nephelometer (and thereby coarse dust scattering by difference).

8) Two Particle Soot Absorption Photometers (PSAP-Radiance Research; detection <0.1μg m-3 for 5 min. avg. )

The PSAP is used to quantify the spectral light absorption coefficient of the total and submicron aerosol (eg. soot, BC) at three wavelengths (450, 550, 660nm).

9) Humidity Dependent Light-Scattering (10-6 m-1 detection for 60s avg.; recorded every 1 s)

Two additional Radiance Research single-wavelength nephelometers are operated at two humidities (high/low) to establish the humidity dependence of light scattering, f(RH).

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Geostationary Imaging Fabry-Perot Spectrometer

The GIFS instrument, a tunable triple-etalon Fabry-Perot Imaging Spectrometer, is designed to measure the O2 absorption lines in solar radiation reflected off the Earth’s surface. This optical technique can provide data to characterize cloud properties in 2 dimensions. The instrument also potentially provides measurements with spatial resolution, spatial coverage, revisit time, and precision/accuracy that would be difficult to obtain with existing methods.

The instrument enables measurements of cloud top temperature, pressure and altitude on a global scale, when deployed in geostationary orbit. Introduction of these data points into weather forecasting models will lead to significant improvements in the forecasting of weather events, including hurricane motion and intensity. The GIFS instrument successfully flew and operated on-board a NASA P-3 Orion in multiple flights throughout January and February 2008.

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Sam Yee (PI)

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 AVIRISng 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, Scaled Composites Proteus and NASA’s WB-57.

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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 400 to 2500 nanometers. It uses scanning optics and four spectrometers to image a 614 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.

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