Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean

NovaSol is teamed with Utah State University's Space Dynamics Lab and the University of Hawaii to design, develop and deploy a system to provide global hyperspectral access from the International Space Station. The program is supported by the Naval Reasearch Laboratory / Office of Naval Research.

Data Distribution and Analysis Center
HICO will have a data distribution and analysis center in Hawaii that will develop the nucleus for a new industry in Hawaii. The facility, which will have the only commercially available hyperspectral space-based data available in the world, will be run in partnership by both academic and industry teams. The market for this is expected to grow to $117M annually by 2005 (Source: Aerospace report No. TOR-2001(8511)-1). Additionally, HICO will provide value-added reseller (VAR) opportunities to utilize data for numerous commercial and Department of Defense applications.

Applications for Space-based Hyperspectral Data

  • Department of Defense applications
  • Mining & mineral exploration
  • Oil & gas exploration
  • Environmental
  • Agriculture
  • Disaster relief
  • Global Science
  • Homeland Defense
  • Search and Rescue
  • Forestry

HICO provides global access
HICO Provides Global Access. ISS orbit samples 104 degrees of latitude.

HICO coverage
HICO Coverage. HICO provides comprehensive global coverage and frequent repeat coverage.

HICO engagements
HICO Engagements. In a calendar year, on average a point target will be engaged more than once per month.

System Components

  • NovaSol: SWIR sensor
  • NRL PHILLS: Visible HSI sensor
  • SDL: Pointing and stabilization system


ISS WORF (Window Observational Research Facility) provides shirt-sleeve environment for sensors, allowing rapid deployment of aircraft-derived systems. HICO integrates two hyperspectral systems with a telescope and stabilization/pointing design funded by NASA.

NRL's PHILSS-3 NovaSol's 1600 System
NovaSol's 1600 System

System Specifications

  • 256-band hyperspectral imager deployed on the ISS
  • 20 meter ground resolution
  • Spectral coverage from 400-2350 nm
  • Two-year mission minimum


Related Work
HICO leverages research done for a NASA Phase A study done at the University of Hawaii. (Click the image below to enlarge it.)

NASA Phase A Study done at the University of Hawaii

microHSI as seen in Laser Focus Magazine.
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