Design, Development and Calibration of a Miniature High Radiometric Precision Hyperspectral Imager for CubeSat/NanoSat constellations and Small, Low-C

Lead Research Organisation: University of Surrey
Department Name: Surrey Space Centre Academic

Abstract

Hyperspectral imagers are cameras that can obtain detailed spectral information on each pixel within a scene in as many as hundreds of contiguous, narrow colour bands. Current efforts in hyperspectral imaging aboard CubeSats/nano-satellites are optically compromised due to miniaturisation; the aim of this project is to produce a design for an Earth Observation hyperspectral instrument, capable of being integrated onto the CubeSat platform, while maintaining the performance of a larger, science grade instrument.

A holistic approach will be taken to the problem of compact hyperspectral imagers aboard CubeSats and low cost UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles); all aspects of the design will be considered, from the miniaturisation of the optical design without significant reduction to optical quality, to on-board data handling and required processing chain, to data analysis on the ground and how best to provide required information to end-users.

A potential application of this technology is precision agriculture. Hence, the fidelity of the data collected is of paramount importance and must be quantified. These considerations will be balanced against a number of technical limitations of the CubeSat platform, which must be addressed with the design of the instrument, such as platform instability and low data rates for downloading the data from the CubeSat. For example, data compression must be employed in order to download the large amount of hyperspectral data from the instrument via a constrained downlink rate, without loss of important information. In addition, meticulous pre-flight and vicarious calibration techniques during the mission will be investigated to maintain data fidelity.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/P510671/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1947435 Studentship EP/P510671/1 25/09/2017 30/09/2020 Callum Joseph Middleton