NEO has been actively engaged in space related projects since the late 1980`s. The work has included consulting work, feasibility studies, breadboarding and product development of sub-units and -systems for spaceborne instruments. The first major project was a feasibility study of a High Resolution Imaging Interferometer (HRII) for ESTEC, where NEO was the prime contractor. We have for some projects been working directly with ESTEC, whereas we in other projects have been partners with or subcontractors to major European Space Companies, such as DASA, Aerospatiale and Alenia. The most important projects are summarised below:
High Resolution Imaging Interferometer (HRII)
Feasibility study resulting in a proposed Imaging Interferometer meeting all basic specifications and requirements.
High Spectral Resolution Sounder (HSRS)
Feasibility study made by Aerospatiale as prime with NEO and Officine Galileo as subcontractors.
Diode Pumped Nd:YAG laser for spaceborne applications
This project was done with Alenia as prime with NEO, ENOSA, Thomson Hybrides and Quantel as subcontractors. NEOs task was to study critical technologies and do the necessary breadboarding.
Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS)
Due to NEOs long experience in working with long range IR detectors NEO was tasked by DASA to assist in the assessment, verification and selection of the infrared detectors for MIPAS.
Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS)
Following the successful selection of IR detectors for MIPAS NEO was selected to develop the frequency reference source (ODS) for MIPAS, based on the use of a frequency stabilised diode laser operating at a wavelength of 1300 nm. NEO performed all breadboarding and product development, and has in addition participated in the detailed design as well as in test and verification of the Engineering and Flight Models.
Hyperspectral Imager for Small Satellites (HISS)
NEO was in December 1995 tasked by ESTEC to carry out a Definition Study of a Hyperspectral Imager for Small Satellites (HISS). The final report was completed as planned in February 1997. HISS is an imaging interferometer measuring the ground reflectance with a spectral resolution of approx. 10 nm in the visible and short wave infrared (450 - 2350nm). The aim of the study is to establish instrument feasibility, a preliminary instrument design, and finally a proposed development plan leading to a Flight Model of the selected baseline. The study includes assessment, trade-off studies and selection of spectrometers, collecting optics, focal plane assemblies including detectors and thermal controls, signal conditioning and processing electronics, data handling, calibration devices etc.
Airborne Spectral Imager
As a continuation of the HISS work, the development of the Airborne Spectral Imager (ASI) was started. The ASI system is based on a hyperspectral camera which covers the wavelength range from 400 nm to 2300 nm (VNIR and SWIR).Research is ongoing in co-operation with other research groups in the field of forestry, agriculture, archaeology, environmental monitoring as well as military surveillance.
The same hyperspectral camera system is currently being used as a research tool also for ground based activities like food quality control and industrial inspection.