The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, with 22 member states. Established in 1975, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000 with an annual budget of about €4.28 billion / US$5.51 billion (2013).
ESA's space flight programme includes human spaceflight, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science and telecommunication.
The research centre for ESA science missions is based at ESTEC (European Space Research and Technology Centre) in Noordwijk, Netherlands.
Hyperspectral radiometers provide enhanced capability for vegetation and forest monitoring with regards to classical multispectral missions such as PROBA V. For small satellite missions, the Linear Filter technology provides a very compact and lightweight solution for implementation of the spectrometer but also is the source of specific problems such as out-of-band rejection and misregistration.
This project targets the development of a "Compact Hyperspectral Imager Breadboard", in which the concept of such a linear filter based hyperspectral imager is demonstrated.
DELTATEC is working on this project with AMOS (Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems) that implements the mechanical and optical solution of the imager. On its side, DELTATEC is responsible of the readout electronics (ROE) engineering and also develops the Electrical Ground Support Equipment (EGSE) of the instrument. The ROE and EGSE will provide together all functionalities needed to perform the tests and calibration campaign of the imager.
The ROE has to deal with large amounts of data generated by the sensor while using electronic components that are compliant with the space environment.
On another side, DELTATEC has to carefully design the electronic video chain (detector è analog-to-digital converters) to get the best performances in terms of signal to noise ratio (SNR).