The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch a full-fledged niche Earth observation (EO) satellite — called the Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite (HySIS).
The HySIS satellite has critical chip called an “optical imaging detector array’” indigenously developed by ISRO. Its launch will allow ISRO to enter the domain of operational hyperspectral imaging from earth orbit.
Hyperspectral imaging or hyspex imaging (imaging spectroscopy) combines the power of digital imaging and spectroscopy. It collects and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum. Hyspex’ imaging enables distinct identification of objects, materials or processes on Earth by reading the spectrum for each pixel of a scene from space. The hyspex technology is still an evolving science. In recent times, it has become trend that is being experimented globally. It has ability to add a new dimension to plain-vanilla optical imagers.
HySIS satellite developed by ISRO can see in 55 spectral or colour bands from 630 km above ground. It can be used for a range of applications from monitoring the environment, crops, looking for oil and minerals, military surveillance. The architecture of the optical imaging detector array chip on board of satellite has been designed by the payloads development centre, Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad. It was manufactured at ISRO’s electronics arm, the Semi-Conductor Laboratory, Chandigarh. It can read upto 1000 x 66 pixels.
ISRO for first time had tried out hyspex imaging technology in an 83-kg IMS-1 experimental satellite in May 2008. The same year, it also had mounted hyperspectral camera on Chandrayaan-1 and used to map lunar mineral resources. Globally so far, very few space agencies have such a satellite.