The purpose of this effort is to develop and demonstrate a compact and high-performance hyperspectral imager designed specifically for remote sensing of aquatic systems/ecosystems. The proposed design utilizes anamorphic optics, a unique segmented dual blaze grating, and innovative filter placement to maximize the instrument’s sensitivity and dynamic range. These innovations enable retrieval of fainter signals as compared to conventional slit spectrometers, especially in the short wavelength regime where solar illumination is attenuated by the Earth’s atmosphere. The innovations enable higher performance while keeping cost and weight low. The proposed instrument is designed to be flown on low-flying unmanned aerial vehicles, enabling accessibility to a wide range of researchers and data collection in many more scenarios than is possible with current satellite and airborne assets.
The instrument will provide cost-effective ground-truthing for current NASA assets such as PRISM, sensors on board Landsat-8 and 9, and the MODIS instruments. Future applications include ground-truthing for instruments such as the OCI on board PACE and the GLIMR mission. The proposed instrument may also be used to collect data relevant to the Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) study and the Arctic-COLORS field campaign.
The proposed instrument system will be accessible to researchers and organizations with limited financial resources. Potential applications may include public safety (e.g., monitoring of harmful algal blooms and water quality), shallow water benthic mapping, and marine fauna surveys.