Sep 2019 | No Comment

NASA and METI release ASTER Digital Elevation Model Version 3

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) of Japan jointly released Version 3 of the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM), recently. The ASTER GDEM is available at no charge to users worldwide via electronic download from Japan Space Systems and from NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC).

The ASTER instrument was built by METI and launched aboard NASA’s Terra spacecraft in December 1999. It has an along-track stereoscopic capability using its near infrared spectral band and its nadir viewing and backward-viewing telescopes to acquire stereo image data with a base-to height ratio of 0.6. The spatial resolution is 15 meters in the horizontal plane, with a 60 kilometer by 60 kilometer ground area.

The methodology used to produce the ASTER GDEM involved automated processing of 2.3 million scenes from the ASTER archive, including stereo correlation to produce individual scene based ASTER DEMs, masking to remove cloudy pixels, stacking all cloud screened DEMs, removing residual bad values and outliers, averaging selected data to create final pixel values, and then correcting residual anomalies before partitioning the data into 1° by 1° tiles.

NASA targets coastal ecosystems with New Space Sensor

NASA has selected a space-based instrument under its Earth Venture Instrument (EVI) portfolio that will make observations of coastal waters to help protect ecosystem sustainability, improve resource management, and enhance economic activity.

The selected Geosynchronous Littoral Imaging and Monitoring Radiometer (GLIMR) instrument, led by principal investigator Joseph Salisbury at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, will provide unique observations of ocean biology, chemistry, and ecology in the Gulf of Mexico, portions of the southeastern United States coastline, and the Amazon River plume – where the waters of the Amazon River enter the Atlantic Ocean.

The instrument was competitively selected from eight proposals considered under NASA’s fifth EVI solicitation released in 2018, with an award of $107.9 million. This is the largest NASA contract award in the history of the University of New Hampshire. Salisbury and his team have proposed the instrument as a hosted payload, for which NASA will provide access to space.

EVI investigations are small, targeted science investigations that complement NASA’s larger Earth-observing satellite missions. They provide innovative approaches for addressing Earth science research with regular windows of opportunity to accommodate new scientific priorities. The investigations are cost-capped and schedule constrained. The missions are managed by the Earth System Science Pathfinder (ESSP) program office at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, for the Earth Science Division under the Science Mission Directorate.

ICEYE releases world-first under 1 meter resolution radar imagery

Under 1 meter resolution radar satellite imaging from ICEYE breaks previous

ICEYE, is the first in the world to achieve better than 1 meter resolution imagery from under-100kg (220 pounds) SAR satellites. The new Spotlight imaging capability builds on ICEYE’s legacy of leading the way on small satellite SAR since its history making first small SAR satellite launch in January 2018. Since then the company has continued to launch more satellites, the latest in July 2019 with two new units. With new satellites being launched still during 2019, ICEYE continues to develop and optimize its imaging capabilities further for customers in both commercial and government segments.


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