Spinworks > First Spin.Works Hyperspectral Camera Launches into Orbit!

First Spin.Works Hyperspectral Camera Launches into Orbit!

First Spin.Works Hyperspectral Camera Launched into Orbit!

On March 4, 2024, a Falcon 9 launcher departed from Vandenberg (USA) to place 53 satellites into orbit, as part of the Transporter-10 mission. Among these, the portuguese AEROS satellite is carrying a hyperspectral camera, HS1, which has been developed at Spin.Works over the past 2.5 years.

It is the first camera designed, developed, built and tested in Portugal to reach space. From its sun-synchronous 3pm, 500km orbit, it will acquire 2-megapixel hyperspectral images in 140 spectral bands from the Atlantic Ocean,  in order to detect pollution and to monitor ocean fronts.

The camera is a precursor to a number of key technologies that Spin.Works will be rolling out as it unveils its newly-developed camera portfolio in the coming months. The payload data processor, also fully developed at Spin.Works, is able to connect to any of its cameras in order to acquire, process, compress, store and forward images to a satellite On Board Computer (OBC) via CAN, UART, SpaceWire or Ethernet links. The camera structure and external interfaces are also highly common to other panchromatic, RGB, SWIR and TIR cameras available at the company. Furthermore, a set of image processing algorithms have been developed to extract information from any of these cameras and to identify specific events and/or features observed without the need to download a full image. 

This particular camera was developed as part of the AEROS Constellation project, which was led by Thales Edisoft and CEIIA, and involved several research institutes (the universities of Porto, Minho, Algarve, Instituto Superior Técnico and +Atlantic ) as well as the company DSTelecom, in partnership with the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

For the next few weeks, Thales has been tasked with the Launch and Early Operations Phase (LEOP) that will ensure all subsystems are fully operational in AEROS. Then, operations will be transitioned to CEIIA for the next 3 years, including the acquisition of multiple hyperspectral cubes that will help diagnose, characterize and optimize HS1 in support of future missions.

Indeed, Spin.Works is currently developing a next-generation hyperspectral camera with a much higher resolution and SNR in the visual, near-infrared and shortwave-infrared (SWIR) spectrum along with a much more powerful payload data processor. The new camera & processor are expected to be qualified for space in early 2025 and may be launched as soon as late 2025.

Other news

The first camera developed at Spin.Works is now in orbit! On March 4, 2024, a Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg (USA) and placed our host satellite AEROS in a sun-synchronous orbit, from where it will monitor the oceans in the next 3 years.