Aerospace technology specialist Boeing has received its first commercial order for the 502 Phoenix small satellite from HySpecIQ of Washington, D.C., which specializes in “hyperspectral spectral intelligence.” The satellites will carry the commercial remote sensing industry’s first high-resolution hyperspectral payload, claimed to be capable of providing spectral imaging fidelity that far exceeds what is currently available.
Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security unit will deliver a complete satellite system initially consisting of two satellites, available for launch in 2018; command and control operations; image processing; and data storage of collected imagery. The contract includes options for long-term operations and maintenance.
“This combines a flexible satellite system design with an innovative business model, demonstrating our commitment to evolve our satellite portfolio into adjacent markets,” said Craig Cooning, president of Network & Space Systems. “Our 502 Phoenix is well-suited for a range of missions that includes electro-optical imaging and remote sensing, space situational awareness and satellite communications.”
Hyperspectral imaging is an information-rich technology that uses spectral color bands to identify objects and materials in an image. More than 200 spectral colors in the visible and shortwave infrared spectrum are collected to uncover diagnostic spectral patterns not visible to the naked eye. The technology provides valuable data and enables the delivery of information products to key markets, including global oil, gas, mining, agriculture and environment monitoring, as well as U.S. government agencies and partner countries.
Boeing will manage sales, processing and distribution of the hyperspectral imagery products to the U.S. government intelligence community, department of defense and international partner customers. HySpecIQ will manage sales, processing. and distribution of the hyperspectral imagery products to the global civil and commercial market.
The satellites will be based on the Phantom Phoenix prototype, developed by Boeing Phantom Works. Boeing’s sites in Huntington Beach and El Segundo, California; Puget Sound, Washington; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Springfield, Virginia, will support the program.