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Proceedings Paper

Low-cost mid-wave IR microsatellite imager concept based on uncooled technology
Author(s): Brian D. Oelrich; Arnaud Crastes; Craig I. Underwood; Stephen Mackin
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Paper Abstract

A new class of low-cost mid-wave infrared (MWIR) Earth observation (EO) data will become available with the flight of miniature MWIR EO instruments in micro-satellite constellations. Due to the frequent ground repeat times inherent in constellations, this data set would provide a unique alternative for those wishing to analyse trends or rapidly detect anomalous changes in the MWIR characteristics of the Earth's surface (e.g. fire detection) or atmosphere. To date, the MWIR imagers have been based on highly responsive cooled detector technology, which traditionally has been the only real option for collecting useful data in this waveband from space. However, state-of-the art microbolometers, adapted from their original design for operation in the LWIR, are thought to be a potential alternative for low-cost MWIR constellations. Following the laboratory evaluation of a modified microbolometer arrays in the MWIR, a low-mass instrument concept was designed and evaluated for a variety of candidate MWIR mission areas. If implemented, the imager concept would complement a larger imaging suite (visible, near IR, and long-wave IR) on a sub-100kg Surrey Space Technology Ltd. (SSTL) micro-satellite and open up several new potential mission areas for the SSTL-engineered Disaster Monitoring Constellation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 November 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5570, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites VIII, (4 November 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.565554
Show Author Affiliations
Brian D. Oelrich, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Arnaud Crastes, ULIS (France)
Craig I. Underwood, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Stephen Mackin, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5570:
Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites VIII
Roland Meynart; Steven P. Neeck; Haruhisa Shimoda, Editor(s)

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