CASIS Probing Industry Interest in Coastal Imager

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The Florida-based nonprofit managing non-NASA science at the international space station is gauging industry’s interest in using a government-developed camera aboard the outpost to observe coastal areas in visible and near-infrared spectra.

The Center for Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) said in an Oct. 11 press release that it wants “to gauge commercial interest in using the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean,” or HICO. Developed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, HICO is located on the Japanese Experimental Module Exposed Facility on the station’s exterior.

The ground-operated sensor collects a single 50-by-200-kilometer scene with each Earth orbit and can image at wavelengths between 380 and 960 nanometers. Its spatial resolution is about 92 meters, according to the request for information published on the CASIS website.

CASIS is specifically interested in hearing from “commercial entities with potential business interest.” The group will use the industry feedback, which is due Nov. 12, to create a request for proposals, the press release said.

HICO is a space-based version of the airborne Portable Hyperspectral Imager for Low Light Spectroscopy, another Navy instrument designed to observe coastal areas from airplanes. HICO was a pathfinder for developing space-based sensors using commercially available components, according to a project website maintained by Oregon State University, which manages HICO science.