HyperSat is a series of six hyperspectral satellites to Low Earth Orbit by the US company HyperSat.
QinetiQ will lead a team of specialist engineering and technology organisations across the US that includes Redwire, Millennium Engineering and Integration, LLC, and Brandywine Photonics. The team selected Virgin Orbit as the launch provider in part because of the unparalleled agility, mobility, and responsiveness afforded by air-launch, which allows for shorter call-up times and more flexible scheduling for customers, as well as direct injection into precise target orbits. In addition to the value for commercial customers, this capability enables a major strategic advantage to government organisations seeking to maintain unencumbered overhead intelligence.
Each satellite will achieve its very high resolution by offering hyperspectral imaging - the ability to capture and process an image at wavelengths across the whole reflective spectrum from visible light to longwave infrared, pixel by pixel. This enables the identification of items in an image with superb precision, whether a camouflaged vehicle; diseased crops within a harvest; or gases leaking from a pipeline. That level of information allows users to make informed decisions only dreamed of in the past.
The first satellite, to be launched in early 2023, will have 500 spectral bands across the visible to shortwave infrared region and a ground sample distance of 6 m – almost twice that available from existing LEO satellites. The following five satellites will offer longwave infrared images and even more capability in the shortwave infrared region. The high spatial and high spectrum pixel resolution available from its sensor payload will allow the satellites to be used not only in defense and security applications, but also for other commercial sectors, such as agriculture and insurance, where highly accurate earth observation images can inform critical decisions.
The spacecraft will be launched aboard a LauncherOne rocket built by Virgin Orbit.
|Type / Application:||Earth observation|
|Power:||Solar cells, batteries|