Multispectral camera from FluxData captures first images from International Space Station

June 22, 2011
ISSAC, a multispectral imager built by FluxData, has captured its first high-resolution image from space. The western coastal region of Florida was imaged on June 10, 2011, from 250 miles above the earth.

The International Space Station Agricultural Camera (ISSAC), a multispectral imager built by FluxData (Rochester, NY, USA), has captured its first high-resolution image from space. The western coastal region of Florida was imaged on June 10, 2011, from 250 miles above the earth.

ISSAC is a multi-spectral imaging system mounted onboard the International Space Station in the Destiny module inside the Window Observation Research Facility. The system is capable of high-temporal imaging (multi-week to multi-day) from the ISS, which has the potential to dramatically increase temporal opportunities to obtain cloud-free images at spatial resolutions and wavelengths applicable to end-user analysis of in-field variability and vegetative conditions.

The imaging sensor assembly of ISSAC is based on FluxData’s FD-1665 3CCD multispectral camera technology. The system’s green, red, and near-infrared spectral response bands were selected to emulate those of the Landsat 7 satellite and provide many of the same benefits for vegetation and moisture discrimination, monitoring and identification.

Through University of North Dakota’s (UND) Imagery Request & Information System (IRIS), ISSAC will provide end-users the ability to use Google Earth browser plug-in to select specific geographical areas of interest and request the collection of imagery that will be downlinked, processed, and delivered within just 1 to 2 days. The data and information ISSAC provides will be used for a wide range of activities including: nitrogen application maps to improve fertilizer use, agriculture management zone decision support systems to improve nutrient and invasive species management, and rangeland management tools to improve livestock allocation and evaluation.

Doug Olsen, Project Manager for ISSAC at UND, states, “This is a successful culmination of a decade-long program. FluxData provided an upgraded sensor to UND’s specification that can image the Earth with significantly higher resolution than its predecessor. In fact, the system is capable of producing images on par with NASA’s LandSat satellites and is useful for not only farmers and agriculture producers, but can be applied to rapid-response imaging of natural disasters.”

ISSAC is expected to image for three growing seasons for farming applications as well as cater to a number of research partners conducting studies of glaciers, grasslands and various other topics. Collected images will be downlinked, processed and delivered to end-users within 24-48 hours of acquisition. The ISSAC project has employed more than 60 domestic and international UND students from disciplines such as engineering, aerospace, computer science, entrepreneurship and space studies in its more than 10-year history. For more information and to watch a video of ISSAC’s history and current operation, visit the ISSAC website.

SOURCE: FluxData

--Posted by Conard Holton

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