Multispectral Camera to Photograph Vegetation from the International Space Station
- Sunday, 01 May 2011
FluxData FD-1665 3CCD Multispectral Camera
FluxData has launched a multispectral imager on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The FluxData FD-1665 3CCD Multispectral Camera technology is the basis of the International Space Station Agricultural Camera (ISSAC). In the upcoming months, the FluxData imager will be installed in the Window Observation Research Facility (WORF) by the crew onboard the ISS. ISSAC was developed by students and faculty of the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks, ND in support of their Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium (UMAC) research efforts. ISSAC will take frequent multispectral images of vegetated areas on the Earth, specifically focusing on the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States.
Through UND’s campus-based operations center, ISSAC will provide end-users the ability to select specific geographical areas of interest and request the collection of imagery that will be downlinked, processed, and delivered within just one to two 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. The rapid responsiveness of ISSAC imagery may also aid in disaster management, flood monitoring, and wildland fire mapping.
The imager 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. Improvements were made to the system’s optical and mechanical design to withstand the environmental rigors of a payload launch and environmental conditions in the ISS. This involved designing the overall ISSAC system to meet NASA requirements for in-station safety, electromagnetic interference, shock, and vibration. The design incorporates subcomponents that can be changed by the crew.
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