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Hyperspectral Microwave Atmospheric Sounder (HyMAS) - new capability in the CoSMIR/CoSSIR scanhead

Published in:
2015 IEEE Aerospace Conf., 7-14 March 2015.

Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have teamed to adapt an existing instrument platform, the CoSMIR/CoSSIR system for atmospheric sensing, to develop and demonstrate a new capability in a hyperspectral microwave atmospheric sounder (HyMAS). This new sensor comprises a highly innovative intermediate frequency processor (IFP), that provides the filtering and digitization of 52 radiometric channels and the interoperable remote component (IRC) adapted to CoSMIR, CoSSIR, and HyMAS that stores and archives the data with time tagged calibration and navigation data. The first element of the work is the demonstration of a hyperspectral microwave receiver subsystem that was recently shown using a comprehensive simulation study to yield performance that substantially exceeds current state-of-the-art. Hyperspectral microwave sounders with ~100 channels offer temperature and humidity sounding improvements similar to those obtained when infrared sensors became hyperspectral. Hyperspectral microwave operation is achieved using independent RF antenna/receiver arrays that sample the same area/volume of the Earth's surface/atmosphere at slightly different frequencies and therefore synthesize a set of dense, finely spaced vertical weighting functions. The second, enabling element is the development of a compact 52-channel Intermediate Frequency processor module. A principal challenge of a hyperspectral microwave system is the size of the IF filter bank required for channelization. Large bandwidths are simultaneously processed, thus complicating the use of digital back-ends with associated high complexities, costs, and power requirements. Our approach involves passive filters implemented using low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) technology to achieve an ultra-compact module that can be easily integrated with existing RF front-end technology. This IF processor is applicable to other microwave sensing missions requiring compact IF spectrometry. The unit produces 52 channels of spectral data in a highly compact volume (
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Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have teamed to adapt an existing instrument platform, the CoSMIR/CoSSIR system for atmospheric sensing, to develop and demonstrate a new capability in a hyperspectral microwave atmospheric sounder (HyMAS). This new sensor comprises a highly innovative intermediate frequency processor (IFP), that provides...

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Nanosatellites for Earth environmental monitoring: the MicroMAS project

Summary

The Micro-sized Microwave Atmospheric Satellite (MicroMAS) is a 3U cubesat (34x10x10 cm, 4.5 kg) hosting a passive microwave spectrometer operating near the 118.75-GHz oxygen absorption line. The focus of the first MicroMAS mission (hereafter, MicroMAS-1) is to observe convective thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, and hurricanes from a near-equatorial orbit at approximately 500-km altitude. A MicroMAS flight unit is currently being developed in anticipation of a 2014 launch. A parabolic reflector is mechanically rotated as the spacecraft orbits the earth, thus directing a cross-track scanned beam with FWHM beamwidth of 2.4-degrees, yielding an approximately 20-km diameter footprint at nadir incidence from a nominal altitude of 500 km. Radiometric calibration is carried out using observations of cold space, the earth?s limb, and an internal noise diode that is weakly coupled through the RF front-end electronics. A key technology feature is the development of an ultra-compact intermediate frequency processor module for channelization, detection, and A-to-D conversion. The antenna system and RF front-end electronics are highly integrated and miniaturized. A MicroMAS-2 mission is currently being planned using a multiband spectrometer operating near 118 and 183 GHz in a sunsynchronous orbit of approximately 800-km altitude. A HyMAS- 1 (Hyperspectral Microwave Atmospheric Satellite) mission with approximately 50 channels near 118 and 183 GHz is also being planned. In this paper, the mission concept of operations will be discussed, the radiometer payload will be described, and the spacecraft subsystems (avionics, power, communications, attitude determination and control, and mechanical structures) will be summarized.
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Summary

The Micro-sized Microwave Atmospheric Satellite (MicroMAS) is a 3U cubesat (34x10x10 cm, 4.5 kg) hosting a passive microwave spectrometer operating near the 118.75-GHz oxygen absorption line. The focus of the first MicroMAS mission (hereafter, MicroMAS-1) is to observe convective thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, and hurricanes from a near-equatorial orbit at approximately...

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Design and analysis of a hyperspectral microwave receiver subsystem

Published in:
MICRORAD 2012, 12th Specialist Meeting on Microwave Radiometry and Remote Sensing of the Environment, 5-9 March 2012.

Summary

Recent technology advances have profoundly changed the landscape of modern radiometry by enabling miniaturized, low-power, and low-noise radio-frequency receivers operating at frequencies near 200 GHz and beyond. These advances enable the practical use of receiver arrays to multiplex multiple broad frequency bands into many spectral channels. We use the term "hyperspectral microwave" to refer generically to microwave sounding systems with approximately 50 spectral channels or more. In this paper, we report on the design and analysis of the receiver subsystem (lensed antenna, RF frontend electronics, and IF processor module) for the Hyperspectral Microwave Atmospheric Sounder (HyMAS) comprising multiple receivers near the oxygen absorption line at 118.75 GHz and the water vapor absorption line at 183.31 GHz. The hyperspectral microwave receiver system will be integrated into a new scanhead compatible with the NASA GSFC Conical Scanning Microwave Imaging Radiometer/Compact Submillimeter-wave Imaging Radiometer (CoSMIR/CoSSIR) airborne instrument system to facilitate demonstration and performance characterization under funding from the NASA ESTO Advanced Component Technology program. Four identical radiometers will be used to cover 108-119 GHz, and two identical receivers will be used to cover 173-183 GHz. Subharmonic mixers will be driven by frequency-multiplied dielectric resonant oscillators, and single-sideband operation will be achieved by waveguide filtering of the lower sideband. A relatively high IF frequency is chosen to facilitate miniaturization of the IF processor module, which will be fabricated using Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic (LTCC) technology. Corrugated feed antennas with lenses are used to achieve a FWHM beamwidth of approximately 3.5 degrees. Two polarizations are measured by each feed to increase overall channel count, and multiple options will be considered during the design phase for the polarization diplexing approach. Broadband operation over a relatively high intermediate frequency range (18-29 GHz) is a technical challenge of the front-end receiver systems, and a receiver temperature of approximately 2000-3000K is expected over the receiver bandwidth. This performance, together with approximately l00-msec integration times typical of airborne operation, yields channel NEDTs of approximately 0.35K, which is adequate to demonstrate the hyperspectral microwave concept by comparing profile retrievals with high-fidelity ground truth available either by coincident overpasses of hyperspectral infrared sounders and/or in situ radiosonde/dropsonde measurements.
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Summary

Recent technology advances have profoundly changed the landscape of modern radiometry by enabling miniaturized, low-power, and low-noise radio-frequency receivers operating at frequencies near 200 GHz and beyond. These advances enable the practical use of receiver arrays to multiplex multiple broad frequency bands into many spectral channels. We use the term...

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Hyperspectral environmental suite for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)

Published in:
SPIE Vol. 5425, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery X, 12-15 April 2004, pp. 329-340.

Summary

The GOES satellites will fly a Hyperspectral Environmental Suite (HES) on GOES-R in the 2012 timeframe. The approximately 1500 spectral channels (technically ultraspectral), leading to improved vertical resolution, and approximately five times faster coverage rate planned for the sounder in this suite will greatly exceed the capabilities of the current GOES series instrument with its 18 spectral channels. In the GOES-R timeframe, frequent measurements afforded by geostationary orbits will be critical for numerical weather prediction models. Since the current GOES soundings are assimilated into numerical weather prediction models to improve the validity of model outputs, particularly in areas with little radiosonde coverage, this hyperspectral capability in the thermal infrared will significantly improve sounding performance for weather prediction in the western hemisphere, while providing and enhancing other products. Finer spatial resolution is planned for mesoscale observation of water vapor variations. The improvements over the previous GOES sounders and a primary difference from other planned instruments stem from two-dimensional focal plane array availability. These carry an additional set of challenges in terms of instrument specifications, which will be discussed. As a suite, HES is planned with new capabilities for coastal ocean coverage with the goal of including open ocean coverage. These new planned imaging applications, which will be either multispectral or hyperspectral, will also be discussed.
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Summary

The GOES satellites will fly a Hyperspectral Environmental Suite (HES) on GOES-R in the 2012 timeframe. The approximately 1500 spectral channels (technically ultraspectral), leading to improved vertical resolution, and approximately five times faster coverage rate planned for the sounder in this suite will greatly exceed the capabilities of the current...

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