Micro-Hyperspec sensor deployed on greenhouse gas monitoring satellite
Headwall Photonic’s compact and light Micro-Hyperspec is a hardened Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) imaging sensor now deployed on Claire, a small low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite produced and launched by GHGSat (Montreal, PQ Canada). At an altitude of 512km in a sun-synchronous polar orbit, the satellite collects high-resolution image data that targets greenhouse gas (GHG) and air quality gas (AQG) emissions at industrial sites around the globe.
With a robust sensor design focused on performance in harsh environments, Headwall’s Micro-Hyperspec operates at the Visible-Near-Infrared (VNIR) range of 400-1,000nm with very high spectral and spatial resolution.
Having just completed its 500th measurement, the work undertaken by GHGSat and the Claire satellite is extremely beneficial in broadening the amount of environmental data that researchers can use to monitor carbon-based emissions from industrial sites. Site owners can also monitor emissions themselves by accessing data from GHGSat, anywhere on the globe and in near real-time.
Hyperspectral imaging technology, also known as imaging spectroscopy, provides a highly resolved view of earth monitoring at ranges far beyond the visible and across hundreds of spectral bands. A sensor proven for military/defense applications, Headwall’s Micro-Hyperspec is small, light, and robust spectral imager for LEO satellite use.
“GHGSat’s mission is to become the global reference for remote sensing of greenhouse gas (GHG) and air quality gas (AQG) emissions using our satellite technology,” said GHGSat President, CEO Stephane Germain. “We use the Micro-Hyperspec from Headwall to collect high-resolution image data in the VNIR range to support cloud and aerosol detection.”
GHGSat represents the latest commercial satellite payload for Headwall. “Small, commercial satellites such as GHGSat represent an important remote sensing tool for researchers,” said Headwall CEO David Bannon. “Breaking from the traditional high cost, high risk space development, Headwall’s performance and affordability are unmatched for these small-sat programs, and we’re very proud to be aboard GHGSat’s Claire satellite.” Fundamental to all Headwall solutions is a patented sensor design that maximizes spectral and spatial resolution and signal throughput while minimizing image aberrations across a wide field of view.
The Micro-Hyperspec sensor is small and light enough so that it can be one of several instruments on a nano-satellite. In addition to VNIR, Micro-Hyperspec is available in SWIR, NIR, and Extended VNIR versions.