The final day of the HyspIRI Science Workshop saw emphasis on international collaborations and development of shared data resources for the remote sensing community. Vibrant conversations were heard around the meeting throughout the day, covering an array of topics, but mostly focusing on how remote sensing can be used to assist in addressing key societal questions, such as climate and environmental change.
In addition to ongoing presentations related to the NASA HyspIRI mission, colleagues from other countries described international efforts to develop satellite instruments using similar technologies. For example, DLR, the German Aerospace Center, reported great progress with EnMAP (Environmental Mapping and Analysis Programme). An exciting aspect of the EnMAP mission is that agreements have recently been established to make data from the mission freely available to interested researchers. Advances are also being made with HISUI (Hyperspectral Imager Suite), which is being developed by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and with PRISMA (PRecursore IperSpettrale della Missione Applicativa), which is a combined imaging spectrometer and panchromatic camera system under development by the Italian Space Agency.
But it wasn’t all about satellites. Significant attention was also placed on the various airborne missions being used to demonstrate technology readiness, as well as perform their own valuable scientific investigations. This includes instruments such as AVIRIS, AVIRIS-ng, HyTES, PHyTIR, PRISM and APEX. The research being conducted using these instruments, which include both imaging spectrometers and multispectral thermal systems, is vital for validating engineering design components, data delivery mechanisms, calibration procedures, and image analysis algorithms. As a result, these instruments represent important steps forward in the progress of the HyspIRI mission. However, they also independently have great value, providing numerous opportunities for remote sensing scientists to develop new methods and deliver innovative research results.
In addition to the instruments themselves, scientists are also working towards improving overall data availability, calibration techniques and field validation methods. For example, NASA JPL is enlisting the remote sensing community to build an open-access spectral library, with the impressive goal of cataloging the spectral characteristics of as many of the Earth’s natural and manmade materials as possible. Such spectra represent important components in a variety of image classification and analysis algorithms. Other programs, such as the NEON project in the U.S. and the TERN project in Australia, are focused on collecting field data from example study sites and providing the data for others to use in their own research projects. It’s encouraging to see this level of community and collaboration.
As evidenced by the presentations and posters at the workshop, imaging spectrometry is a mature science with a wealth of proven application areas. However, this won’t stop scientists from continuing to innovate and push the limits of what can be achieved using this technology. There’s always a new idea around the next corner, and it’s workshops like this that help promote information exchange, development of new collaborations, and the creation of new research directions.
Presentations from the HyspIRI Science Workshop and information on the HyspIRI mission can be found at http://hyspiri.jpl.nasa.gov/