3 mins read 12 Oct 2022

Kanyini Satellite to Get Hyperspectral Camera

The South Australian satellite Kanyini will be fitted with a newly developed hyperspectral imaging camera for its launch in early 2023.

The Hyperscout 2 during vibration testing. Credit: cosine.

A newly developed hyperspectral imaging camera from the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and cosine will be aboard the 6U cubesat Kanyini when it launches in early 2023. Kanyini is the first satellite to be designed and constructed in South Australia, and was given its name through a schools-based competition. Adelaide companies Inovor and Myriota are designing, testing, and building the satellite bus and its payload, and SmartSat CRC is coordinating the project.

The new imaging camera, HyperScout 2 Flight Model instrument, will provide hyperspectral imaging in the visible and near infrared to analyse the composition of the Earth, along with three thermal infrared bands to retrieve the temperature distribution. In doing so, the camera will combine hyperspectral and thermal imaging with high-level data processing and Artificial Intelligence.

Peter Nikoloff, Kanyini Mission Director at SmartSat, said, “We needed a compact imaging payload that gave us a nuanced Earth view.

“The spectral range of HyperScout 2 enables an extremely detailed analysis of land cover, supporting research into crop health, forests, inland water and coasts.

“The thermal infrared imager will provide vital information on heat generators in South Australia. In parallel with the development phase, SmartSat is formulating a research program with our partners to make optimal use of the systems once in orbit.”

From left to right: Nathan Vercruyssen (cosine), Marco Beijersbergen (cosine), Dr Peter Woodgate (SmartSat CRC), Peter Nikioloff (SmartSat CRC), Marco Esposito (cosine), Adj Prof Nicola Sasanelli (SmartSat CRC). Credit: SmartSat CRC.

The Hyperscout line of instruments is developed by the Dutch company cosine and partners with support from the European Space Agency and the Netherlands Space Office. In order to adapt Hyperscout for Kanyini, cosine had to make several changes to the initial design to fit the cubesat’s relatively small dimensions. The cosine team assembled the new instrument, characterised its performance, and tested its suitability for environmental conditions in just 8 months. 

Dr Marco Esposito, managing director at cosine Remote Sensing added, “We have completed all the necessary activities for the delivery of the HyperScout Flight Model, and we now look forward to supporting our customer during the next project steps. We are proud to provide the core sensing device for this top-level Australian mission”.

SmartSat CRC has investigated using Kanyini’s hyperspectral data for crop classification as part of the UK/AUS Space Bridge collaboration. Other possible applications for the AI module of the Hyperscout 2 include bushfire smoke detection, monitoring water quality, and advanced analytics for defence and security.