Visible-SWIR photodetectors are of special interest to NASA for planetary observation missions. The Visible-SWIR imagers can be used to study the world's ecosystems and provide critical information on natural disasters such as volcanoes, wildfires and drought. Visible-SWIR imaging will be able to identify the type of vegetation that is present and whether the vegetation is healthy. It can provide a benchmark on the state of the worlds ecosystems against which future changes can be assessed. Moreover this imaging method can assess the pre-eruptive behavior of volcanoes and the likelihood of future eruptions as well as the carbon and other gases released from wildfires. The data from Visible-SWIR imagers can be used for a wide variety of studies primarily in the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystem and Earth Surface and Interior focus areas. The large-format Visible-SWIR cameras, with ultra-low dark current, we will be developing and delivering in Phase II of this program will be able to provide high resolution mapping of planetary bodies.
The key applications of visible-SWIR imaging are listed below: * Mineral exploration, resource management, and environmental monitoring. * In agriculture for monitoring the development and health of crops. * In geology for rapidly mapping nearly all minerals of commercial interest * For ecology, surveillance, and historical manuscript research * For research in areas such as nano-drug delivery and nano-toxicology * For use in many research areas, such as vegetation research, forensics, life sciences, food analysis, and mineral research. * FTIR imaging microscopy * Gas imaging (e.g. for the petrochemical industry) * Security and surveillance (day and night) * Missile defense * Space-based situational awareness