Working in the Public Interest to Address Remote Sensing and Earth Observation Challenges
From Earth to space. From design to deployment. From Aerospace to Vaeros.
For more than five decades, The Aerospace Corporation has provided objective technical expertise, analysis, and assessments for global customers pursuing the most complex and innovative missions.
Vaeros, a division of The Aerospace Corporation, brings this rich resource of talent and technical capabilities to bear on multiple challenges in diverse, high-consequence environments.
We are committed to driving your success in remote sensing—and a host of other applications.
At Vaeros, our expertise in the remote-sensing field spans a range of platforms, including satellites, traditional aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and truck-mounted or lab-based sensors for ground applications. We pride ourselves on sensor innovation, based on a customer’s concept of operations or set of requirements.
Beyond sensor design and innovation, we are experts in the production and deployment process of remote sensing: data capture, processing, and analysis; imagery exploitation; and working as a trusted advisor to customers who need greater situational awareness or a better understanding of remote-sensing options.
Space-based remote sensing.
An increasingly common approach to understanding problems on Earth is to examine them from the vantage point of space.
Depending on the problem to be addressed, remote-sensing measurement,
modeling, and prediction may require an integrated architecture that includes space, airborne (piloted or pilotless), and ground elements, as well as sophisticated ground-processing algorithms.
To converge on a solution, we use a concurrent engineering approach that analyzes system interactions. Our service offerings are supported by a range of tools—from basic spreadsheet models that can be run by a systems engineer in a few days, to our ultimate concurrent engineering tool, the Concept Design Center.
Optical sensors design and innovation.
We have designed, developed, and operated hyperspectral sensors with increased sensitivity and discrimination capabilities to identify and image thousands of compounds and target areas of interest.
Our proven experience in conceptualizing, designing, testing, and operating hyperspectral sensors—as well as performing data processing, analysis, and imagery exploitation—can be applied to multiple industries, such as mining, oil and gas, agriculture, environmental assessment, manufacturing, and disaster response.
No matter the industry, customers benefit from our rich portfolio of patents and extensive technical knowledge, data processing and exploitation software, and robust sensor innovation successes.
We have demonstrated exceptional capabilities with the development of passive optical instruments, including hyperspectral imagers in mid- to longwave infrared sensors. These proven hyperspectral sensors include:
- Spatially-Enhanced Broadband Array Spectrograph System (SEBASS): First commissioned in 1995, SEBASS is a nadir-viewing, roll-compensated, pushbroom hyperspectral imager comprising two spectrographs, one operating in the midwave infrared (MWIR) region and the other in the longwave infrared (LWIR) region. Each uses a single, cooled, focal-plane array with 128 spatial pixels and 128 spectral pixels.
While SEBASS is a thoroughly field-proven system, its narrow field-of-regard (125-meter swath from an altitude of 3,000 feet) limits the area that can be covered during a typical flight and thus constrains the scope of the studies it can support.
- Mako: First commissioned in 2010, Mako employs wide-swath, three-axis-stabilized, whiskbroom scanning. Built under an Aerospace Corporate Research Initiative, Mako offers up to 15 times the SEBASS area coverage rate while matching its radiometric performance and spatial resolution.
- Mid-infrared Airborne Hyperspectral Imager (MAHI): Commissioned in 2004, MAHI (formerly Wahoo) is a high–performance, 640-band imaging spectrograph that is used for phenomenology research and demonstrations of MWIR hyperspectral imagery. The higher spectral resolution of MAHI gives it much-improved target detection capability over the previous generation of MWIR hyperspectral imager sensors (e.g., SEBASS).
- Mineral and Gas Identifier (MAGI): Commissioned in 2011, MAGI was optimized for retrieving surface composition and atmospheric trace gas content. The instrument has a three-axis-stabilized whiskbroom scanning ability for wide-swath performance, suited to Earth science applications. It was designed as a pathfinder for a future low-Earth-orbit sensor.
In addition to passive hyperspectral sensors, Vaeros is also researching novel configurations for active sensors, such as integrating UAVs with retroreflectors to work with light detection and ranging, also known as lidar.
A systems engineering approach to sensor development and optimization.
Using a disciplined systems engineering approach, we work with customers to elicit requirements to conceptualize and design sensors for specific mission parameters. Additionally, we can optimize and configure commercial off-the-shelf sensors, or build solutions from our own existing portfolio of sensors, to achieve a customer’s goals.
Advancing global and commercial partnerships.
In response to global climate and natural resource challenges, we leverage our understanding of space systems and national space assets to foster international collaboration of space- and ground-based assets.
Specifically, these assets generate Earth-observation data that support the Global Earth Observation System of Systems. Earth-observation data are categorized into nine societal benefit areas* and are subsequently integrated and used to support decisionmaking in an increasingly complex and environmentally stressed world.
Our deep familiarity and experience collaborating with the global satellite community, national security space enterprise, and major space agencies can be applied to help stakeholders reach solutions for common benefit and resource sharing.
Working in the public interest to solve earth observation challenges.
Our goal is to combine our remote-sensing knowledge and expertise with sensor innovation, phenomenology, data analysis, and data exploitation to support the civil and commercial sectors.
We are now seeking to work in the public interest to address the following types of Earth-observation challenges:
- Air-quality assessments, including greenhouse gas inventories and climate change
- Weather observation and prediction
- Environmental assessments
- Natural resource assessments
- Industry applications (agriculture, pipeline monitoring, forestry, mining, geothermal, and oil and gas)
Our expertise translates into mission success across a wide range of programs, including a 20-year history of support for ultraviolet lidar ground-truth measurements for the U.S. Air Force’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. Lidar solutions are used to calibrate on-orbit microwave sensors and to validate these sensors’ measurements of atmospheric temperature and water content.
These lidar sensors have also been used for the past 10 years to support California Air Quality Management programs with measurements of the distributions and dispersal of particulate aerosols that represent potential air quality risks resulting from industrial activity and wildfires.
More recently, we have developed lidar sensors using UAV technology to support applications such as stack emissions of pollutants. In the Tracking Atmospheric Differential Absorption program, a UAV-borne retroreflector can be arbitrarily positioned to close a long optical path (up to approximately 10 kilometers) with a tunable ground-based laser to detect the presence of gaseous pollutants or industrial waste products.
*These nine areas are: sustainable agriculture; biodiversity conservation; climate change; natural and manmade disasters; ecosystem management; energy management; environmental health hazards; water resources; and weather forecasting.
Contact Vaeros today to learn how we can help enable your success.