There is an increasing attempt to develop new and better ways to capture images of the earth. Cosine Measurement Systems, a Dutch firm, built a hyperspectral camera simply called the Hyperscout. The camera is constructed to monitor fire and floods. Other functions include managing irrigation and the separation of light into 45 wavelengths. The camera also features an application that detects changes in the environment.
The Hyperscout was transported by a nanosatellite built by GomSpace, a Danish company which specializes in CubeSat. The satellite weighs an estimated 8 kg, and it is named GomX-4A.
It is one of the two satellites in the GomX-4 series. The two satellites were launched together in February 2018. The GomX-4B was built under another contract for the Danish Defense Ministry. The GomX-4A also carried an antenna designed to track ships as well as a small start tracker.
The satellite was launched on February 2 at 8:51 CET. It was launched at Jiuquan satellite launch center based in China, and transported via Long March 2D. The satellite left the launch vehicle just a few minutes after the launch. The launched was described as successful.
The camera launched via the GomX-4A is expected to take spectral images of targeted locations. On April 19, Cosine Measurement Systems released spectra images taken by the hyperspectral camera. The images are of 70-meter resolution.
The camera took images of random locations in Cuba and Scotland. Cosine explained that the images were taken at prescheduled times and the locations were not targeted.
Cosine also promised to do more to show the extensive features of the camera. They intend to calibrate more features including deserts into the camera. They also plan to upload software to help utilize more features of the camera.
The company also revealed that it is possible to update the software while the Hyperscout is in space. This will make it possible to refine the Hyperscout to meet the demands of client. The company stated that they would be refining the software for the next six months.
According to Marco Esposito, the product manager for Cosine said that the images are a good sign. He mentioned that the images indicate that the Hyperscout is working well. He also extended an invitation to potential clients who are interested in launching Hyperscout into space,
He also assured enthusiasts that more images would be released in a few weeks’ time and he expects that they would images from a lot more locations including the Netherlands.