The HyperScout 2 instrument on board the FSSCat nanosatellite has delivered a set of images during its commissioning phase that live up to its promise. Hyperspectral and thermal images taken over the Baltic Sea, Ireland and California have been downloaded. With the completion of the commissioning phase the HyperScout 2 instrument on FSSCat will be the first operational thermal camera on a nanosatellite.
The first image from the hyperspectral camera covers part of the Baltic Sea including the Copenhagen and Malmö area. The image is 300 km wide in a single shot, which is spectacular for a satellite at an altitude of only 560 km. The image contains spectral information in 45 bands in the visible and near-infrared, and a combination of these images can be used to determine composition, such as vegetation, water and minerals.
The first thermal image was taken over a partly overcast Ireland in one band in the thermal infrared. The brightness in the colored band in the image corresponds to the temperature on the ground or at the top of the clouds. HyperScout 2 has made it possible for the first time to perform operations with a thermal camera on a nanosatellite.
California was one of the observation targets for the commissioning phase of HyperScout 2 on FSSCat. The visible and near-infrared image also contains spectral information revealing the composition on the ground. The thermal image provides temperature information and corresponds nicely to the images taken by the much larger thermal instrument on ESA’s Sentinel 3 satellite. The images will be further analyzed to determine which bright spots correspond to wildfires in the area.