The measurements produced by the chip-scale hyperspectral imager will enable surface reconnaissance and characterization in support of planetary probes or sample return from asteroids, moons, and comets. Spatial and spectrally-resolved scattered light provides ice particle size distributions and compositional analysis, and gives insights about resurfacing events and water cycle processes. A framing camera enables movies of fast processes, including auroras and lightning, without requiring additional platform motion for each frame (allowing other instruments to remain focused) and provides spectral analysis for composition and aerosol size analysis. Search for organics and biomarkers through spectral composition analysis helps focus mission resources on the right areas and samples without changing color wheels. A framing camera enables movies of transient processes, including fluid phenomena like geysers.
The low-cost offering will help the technology enter the international commercial, military, and industrial markets. For example, agricultural industries can benefit from crop monitoring, environmental protection groups can monitor chemical dumping and cleanup, medical applications can improve measurement of biomarkers, and military surveillance applications can benefit from spectrally-resolved target identification.