From the Ground Up: Building an Earth Science Satellite (HyspIRI Hawaii, Part 2)


[ Music ] [ Volcano Rumbling ]>>AVIRIS is a type of a camera. If you’re on an airplane, for example, and
you take a picture with your iPhone, the picture will tell you things about what you’re looking
at. It might tell you that there’s reef there,
it might have nice colors, but your camera only sees in the visible part of the spectrum-
red, green, blue. But with AVIRIS you have a camera that essentially
has 224 detectors across the visible spectrum all the way to the shortwave infrared, collecting
the sunlight bouncing off of whatever we’re looking at, and giving us a data cube, a spectrum,
of everything that you’re looking at. Different things will have their own unique
spectrum. And therefore we can then compare that to
a spectral library to know what we’re looking at. You’re able to know things like how much
coral there is in a given reef, perhaps what type of species of a plant you’re looking
at if you’re over a forest. It’s an augmented type of camera that gives
scientists a lot more information than a regular camera would. AVIRIS sits right above this window. When the pilots hit Q6 to begin recording
a line, the shutter here essentially retracts and exposes the scan head to begin scanning
during the flight line. After the end of each flight line the pilot
presses Q6 again and you have that shutter window go back in place, until you repeat
the process over each line. When I was a little kid, I wanted to be an
astronaut, I wanted to do engineering work; became an aerospace engineer, started working
at JPL, and got involved with imaging spectrometers, working both on the hardware, but also on,
essentially the mission logistics of what it takes to collect the data. I’ve been working with the principal investigators
for both the coral reef team and the volcano team. So when a scientist gives me information about
what area they’re interested in, I go in Google Earth and I’ll measure what the width of that
feature is, then I have another tool where I put in all the different parameters of the
airplane, the airspeed, the field of view, and I will plot out a given number of lines
that will cover that area. So a narrow coral reef section of an island,
it might only require one pass, but an area where there’s a large bay, it might require
two passes to make sure you have enough coverage. [ Music ]

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