NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST (NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST) - 11.14.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
NanoRacks-ISS-Hyperspectral Earth Imaging System Trial (NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST) operates a compact hyperspectral sensor system for commercial Earth observation, using the NanoRacks External Platform (NREP). The system is designed and built by Orbital Sidekick, Inc., which is a private company that provides monitoring services to a variety of users. Hyperspectral data’s hundreds of narrow spectral bands result in extremely high spectral resolution and a contiguous reflectance spectrum of each pixel in the image, from visible light all the way through infrared. NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST offers a less expensive and smaller option for a commercial hyperspectral sensor deployed in space.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Daniel Katz, M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: Ext Platform Module-6

Principal Investigator(s)
Daniel Katz, M.S., Orbital Sidekick, Inc., San Francisco, CA, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Tushar Prabhakar, M.S., Orbital Sidekick, Inc., San Francisco, CA, United States
Mathew Abraham, M.S., Orbital Sidekick, Inc., San Francisco, CA, United States

Developer(s)
Orbital Sidekick, Inc., San Francisco, CA, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
February 2018 - October 2018

Expeditions Assigned
55/56

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-ISS-Hyperspectral Earth Imaging System Trial (NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST) utilizes the NanoRacks External Platform (NREP) on the ISS to operate a compact hyperspectral sensor system for commercial Earth observation.
  • Hyperspectral data provides hundreds of narrow spectral bands resulting in extremely high spectral resolution and a contiguous reflectance spectrum of each pixel in the image, from visible light all the way through infrared. High spectral resolution allows for monitoring chemical change and material composition.
  • The project objectives yield an effective space-based visible/near infrared (VNIR) hyperspectral sensing platform replacement for the decommissioned Hyperspectral Imaging Coastal Observatory (HICO) and Hyperion sensor aboard Earth Observing-1 (EO-1).

Description

The NanoRacks-ISS-Hyperspectral Earth Imaging System Trial (NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST) project produces one of the first commercial hyperspectral sensor systems deployed in space, and it is considerably less expensive and smaller than the programs preceding it. It serves as a testbed not only for commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components and configurations, but also for flight and camera control software, onboard processing and storage capabilities, and prioritized tasking and downlinking as a function of top-level onboard data processing.
 
Current space-based Earth observation platforms use panchromatic or multispectral sensors consisting primarily of spatial information. Multispectral sensors detect only a handful of wide spectral bands for coarse material identification. Hyperspectral imaging platforms collect hundreds of narrow spectral bands resulting in extremely high spectral resolution and a contiguous reflectance spectrum of each pixel in the image, from visible light all the way through infrared. High spectral resolution allows for monitoring chemical change and material composition. This technology, derived from lab-based imaging spectrometers, has existed for decades, but its implementation on space-based platforms is exceedingly rare. With the advent of high grade, miniaturized, low cost commercial components, it is hypothesized that hyperspectral imaging technology can now be employed on low cost microsatellite platforms. NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST is a proving ground for demonstrating this hypothesis.

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Applications

Space Applications
Once proven, NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST provides an effective, space-based visible/near Infrared (VNIR) hyperspectral sensing platform to replace the decommissioned Hyperspectral Imaging Coastal Observatory (HICO) and Hyperion sensor. Satellite-based hyperspectral imaging provides timely, cost-effective, and noninvasive global monitoring capabilities. NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST therefore furthers the goal of increasing commercialization of the space station.

Earth Applications
Satellite-based hyperspectral imaging provides timely, cost-effective, and noninvasive global monitoring capabilities. High spectral resolution allows for monitoring chemical change and material composition. The many potential Earth-based applications include defense, such as detecting chemical weapon signatures and identifying troop movements, and energy, including environmental monitoring of energy infrastructure and transportation, as well as spills and pipeline incidents. Hyperspectral imaging may be used for early detection of agricultural disease and forest fires, potentially saving billions of dollars.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
The NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST launches as pressurized cargo to the ISS and operates on the NanoRacks External Platform (NREP), which is mounted on the outside of the ISS on the Japanese Experiment Module – Exposed Facility (JEM-EF). NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST is installed onto the NREP experiment baseplate by the crew and deployed to the external environment of ISS using the JEM Airlock. NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST images the Earth from the NREP for a minimum mission duration of 15 weeks. NanoRacks-ISS-HEIST is transported back inside the ISS via the JEM airlock once the mission is complete.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Orbital Sidekick

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Imagery