Hyperspectral imager to tackle counterinsurgency

Hyperspectral imager to tackle counterinsurgency

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US: The US Air Force Space Command announced that the TacSat-3 spacecraft, which carries the advanced responsive tactically effective military imaging spectrometer, or ARTEMIS, will be upgraded from an experimental to an operational satellite.

Military remote sensing satellites have traditionally been used on the strategic level, and their capabilities not available to small units. Hyperspectral sensors, already used on some unmanned aerial vehicles, see variations in colours undetectable by the human eye. They can search for disturbed earth where an enemy has buried a roadside bomb, for example.

“ARTEMIS can detect various man-made and natural materials, which adds a fundamentally new capability for the DoD,” said Bill Hart, vice president for Raytheon Space Systems, which manufactures the sensor.

The TacSat experimental satellites are designed to test technologies that can bring field commanders real-time tactical level intelligence. The Operationally Responsive Space Office and the Air Force Research Laboratory designed and operated the TacSat-3 spacecraft for one year before the decision was made to make its data available to field commanders.

Source: National Defense Magazine