Hyperspectral imaging systems onboard aircraft or spacecraft can acquire large amounts of data, putting a strain on limited downlink and storage resources. Onboard data compression can mitigate this problem but may require a system capable of a high throughput. In order to achieve a high throughput with a software compressor, a graphics processing unit (GPU) implementation of a compressor was developed targeting the current state-of-the-art GPUs from NVIDIA®.
The implementation is based on the fast lossless (FL) compression algorithm reported in “Fast Lossless Compression of Multispectral-Image Data” (NPO-42517), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 30, No. 8 (August 2006), page 26, which operates on hyperspectral data and achieves excellent compression performance while having low complexity. The FL compressor uses an adaptive filtering method and achieves state-of-the-art performance in both compression effectiveness and low complexity. The new Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) Standard for Lossless Multispectral & Hyperspectral image compression (CCSDS 123) is based on the FL compressor. The software makes use of the highly-parallel processing capability of GPUs to achieve a throughput at least six times higher than that of a software implementation running on a singlecore CPU. This implementation provides a practical real-time solution for compression of data from airborne hyperspectral instruments.