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Partnership Targets Analysis of Hyperspectral Data Obtained from Space

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Software company Metaspectral will work with HySpeed Computing, a remote sensing data access and analysis company, to deploy an Earth observation (EO) payload on the International Space Station. The payload is known as Onboard Programmable Technology for Image Classification and Analysis (OPTICA). It is planned to enable real-time compression, streaming, and analysis of hyperspectral data from low Earth orbit.

Metaspectral will provide the hardware and software for the payload. HySpeed Computing will create the necessary data processing pipeline and analysis tools, the companies said.

According to James Goodman, CEO of HySpeed Computing, OPTICA addresses a growing need in the remote sensing industry to develop efficiencies in data processing and information delivery as the volume, variety, and velocity of EO data increases.

“OPTICA addresses this need by demonstrating the ability to acquire rapidly, process, and analyze imagery from a high-data-volume hyperspectral sensor,” Goodman said.

Hyperspectral imagery captured via satellite contains data from across the electromagnetic spectrum. This data, when analyzed with AI, can be used to quickly identify events on Earth such as forest fires, methane leaks, and oil spills. It can also provide time-sensitive data to intelligence, surveillance, or reconnaissance missions.

This spring Metaspectral received funding as part of the smartEarth Canadian Space Agency initiative to build a method using hyperspectral data to quantify the carbon dioxide levels present at ground elevation.

Metapsectral co-founder and CEO Francis Doumet said the company’s technology makes it possible to bypass bandwidth constraints with its advances in data compression and machine learning. “This project will demonstrate our platform’s ability to produce actionable insights within 15 min or less,” Doumet said.

OPTICA is scheduled to launch in 2023, with a six-month deployment on the space station following soon thereafter. The mission is sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory, which works in collaboration with NASA.
Jul 2022
hyperspectral imaging
Methods for identifying and mapping materials through spectroscopic remote sensing. Also called imaging spectroscopy; ultraspectral imaging.
remote sensing
Technique that utilizes electromagnetic energy to detect and quantify information about an object that is not in contact with the sensing apparatus.
spaceSpace Imagingsatellitessatellite imaginghyperspectralhyperspectral analysishyperspectral imagingimagingremote sensingspectral dataspectral data acquisitionMetaspectralHyspeed Computingcomputer visionSoftwareAIBusinesspartnershipAmericasimage classificationIndustry News

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