Unibap’s iX5-100 in NASA 6U CubeSat
The HyTI (Hyperspectral Thermal Imager) mission, funded by NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office InVEST (In-Space Validation of Earth Science Technologies) program, will demonstrate how high spectral and spatial long-wave infrared image data can be acquired from a 6U CubeSat platform. The mission will use a spatially modulated interferometric imaging technique to produce spectro-radiometrically calibrated image cubes, with 25 channels between 8-10.7 ųm, at 13 cm-1 resolution), at a ground sample distance of ~60 m. The HyTI performance model indicates narrow band NE△Ts of < 0.3 K. The small form factor of HyTI is made possible via the use of a no-moving-parts Fabry-Perot interferometer, and JPL’s cryogenically-cooled HOT-BIRD FPA technology. Launch is scheduled for no earlier than Fall 2021. The value of HyTI to Earth scientists will be demonstrated via on-board processing of the raw instrument data to generate L1 and L2 products, with a focus on rapid delivery of data regarding volcanic degassing, land surface temperature, and precision agriculture metrics.
Video about the HyTI-mission, featuring Miguel Nunes, PhD, from HSFL
Illustration of HyTI with its inner contents.
Made by Hawaii Spaceflight Laboratory, University of Hawaii.
Unibap’s SpaceCloud® solution, iX5-100 is used onboard for the collection and data processing of the camera sensor data and for communication back to earth.
The ring in the image above shows where the iX5-100 solution is located inside the satellite. The iX5-100 occupies approximately 10 cm x 10 cm x 5 cm and provides the system with health monitoring, data transfer, data storage, data processing with a heterogeneous architecture (CPU, GPU, FPGA) and as an alternative dedicated AI accelerator.
Illustration of iX5-100 functionality on the HyTI mission
Overview of iX5-100 features in satellites
Onboard the HYTI satellite, the iX5-100 solution processes approximately 464 megabits per second (Mbps) of real-time data from the spectral thermal sensor and has up to 240 GB of non-volatile data storage. A spectral thermal sensor, i.e. a camera that looks deep into the infrared spectrum can, from space, study the properties of plants and surfaces in the infrared spectrum. It can be used, among other things, to see volcanic eruptions, oil spills, virus-attacked arable land and forests or forest fires.
There is more information to read from the system integrator, i.e. who is building the satellite which in this case is the University of Hawaii.
On the following links you can find more information regarding the NASA HYTI mission
- Univ. of Hawaii/HSFL
- Univ. of Hawaii/IGP
- SmallSat/AIAA article, HYTI- Thermal Hyperspectral Imaging From a Cubesat Platform
- Gunter’s Space Page