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Airborne Prism EXperiment (APEX)

Research project PX/6/EO/34 (Research action PX)


Persons :

  • Dhr.  DEBRUYN Walter - Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO)
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2001-//

Description :

Over the past few years, a Swiss/Belgian consortium is designing and building the next generation airborne imaging spectrometer APEX (Airborne Prism EXperiment) under the authority of ESA’s PRODEX programme. APEX is designed to be a dispersive pushbroom imaging spectrometer operating in the solar reflected wavelength range between 380 and 2500 nm. The spectral sampling interval is designed to be better than 10 nm in the SWIR and 5 nm in the VNIR range of the spectrum. The total FOV will be 28 deg, recording 1000 spatial elements across track at a maximum of 312 contiguous spectral bands simultaneously. The final radiance data products will be well characterized and calibrated traceable to absolute standards. The APEX consortium is subdivided into an industrial team responsible for the construction of the optical instrument, the calibration home base and the detectors, and a science and operations team, responsible for the acquisition, the processing and the archiving of the imaging spectrometer data, as well as for the distribution of the calibrated and corrected data to the Scientific User Community. APEX is being breadboarded and will be fully operational in the year 2007.

Belgian interests and facilities in the context of apex:

The APEX airborne spectrometer will be operated by VITO in Mol (Belgium) under the authority of ESA.
The APEX exploitation will be supported by three major external facilities, namely a Calibration Home Base, an Operational Center and a Processing and Archiving Facility.
1) The Calibration Home Base (CHB) with dedicated spectral, radiometric and geometric calibration facilities for full laboratory characterization and calibration of APEX is located at the DLR in Oberpfaffenhoffen near Münich (Germany).
2) The APEX Operational Center (OC) is located at VITO in Mol (Belgium). All user interactions (flight requests, flight planning, new data acquisitions, archived data search, user support, etc.) are carried out at this location.
3) The APEX Processing and Archiving Facility (PAF) manages the data from acquisition and calibration to processing and dissemination. Also the PAF is located at VITO. The data products made available to the Scientific User Community will not be limited to the straightforward radiometrically / geometrically / atmospherically corrected datasets, but will also include higher-level data, i.e. treated through e.g. datareduction algorithms or converted to e.g. physical parameters in specified application domains. Physically the processing chain(s) will be implemented in the existing CTIV (Centre de Traitement des Images Végétation) hardware architecture already in place at VITO and used to process and disseminate data from the Végétation instruments onboard SPOT 4 and SPOT 5 since 1998.

Conclusions:

The breadboarding and construction of the airborne dispersive pushbroom imaging spectrometer APEX (Airborne Prism EXperiment) is ongoing and will give the Scientific User Community access to a state-of-the-art airborne instrument by early 2007. APEX has been designed to support R&D in a broad palette of Earth Observation applications of Terrestrial and Aquatic ecosystems.

Satellite(s) or flight opportunity(ies):

- Airborne


Field of research:

Earth Observation


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