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A cubesat hyperspectral imager, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Mapping spectrometers have been extremely useful in multiple NASA applications, from Earth climate monitoring to identifying hydrocarbon lakes on Titan. Traditionally, imaging spectroscopy systems are not only heavy but also large in order to accommodate the long path lengths needed for spectral separation. There are several varieties, such as push-broom and scanning imaging spectrometers, but hyperspectral framing cameras are still relatively rare and are often untenably bulky. However, framing cameras place fewer restrictions on platform motion and can complete their data acquisition more rapidly, which allows more time and power to be dedicated to other instruments. A chip-scale full-frame hyperspectral imager would provide the ideal balance: small, light, no moving parts, low power requirements, and suitable for numerous mission architectures. Nanohmics, teaming with Dr. Hewagama at the University of Maryland, proposes to develop a chip-scale hyperspectral imaging technology as a commercial solution for ultra-compact UV-VIS hyperspectral cameras for smallsat and CubeSat applications. The technology will provide spectral dispersion orders of magnitude smaller and lighter than grating or prism options with full spatial-spectral registration. More »

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