UrtheCast SECOND-GENERATION EARTH OBSERVATION SENSORS
- UrtheCast Corp, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Keywords: Dual-mode optical camera, dual-band SAR sensor, International Space Station
Abstract. UrtheCast’s Second-Generation state-of-the-art Earth Observation (EO) remote sensing platform will be hosted on the NASA segment of International Space Station (ISS). This platform comprises a high-resolution dual-mode (pushbroom and video) optical camera and a dual-band (X and L) Synthetic Aperture RADAR (SAR) instrument. These new sensors will complement the firstgeneration medium-resolution pushbroom and high-definition video cameras that were mounted on the Russian segment of the ISS in early 2014.
The new cameras are expected to be launched to the ISS in late 2017 via the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation Dragon spacecraft. The Canadarm will then be used to install the remote sensing platform onto a CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) hatch on Node 3, allowing the sensor electronics to be accessible from the inside of the station, thus limiting their exposure to the space environment and allowing for future capability upgrades.
The UrtheCast second-generation system will be able to take full advantage of the strengths that each of the individual sensors offers, such that the data exploitation capabilities of the combined sensors is significantly greater than from either sensor alone. This represents a truly novel platform that will lead to significant advances in many other Earth Observation applications such as environmental monitoring, energy and natural resources management, and humanitarian response, with data availability anticipated to begin after commissioning is completed in early 2018.