Developments in International Spaceborne Imaging Spectroscopy Future Opportunities for Australia

Seminar Announcement


  • Mr Andreas Müller, Chair of the International Spaceborne Imaging Spectroscopy (ISIS) Technical Committee. Head of the Land Surface Applications Department at German Aerospace (DLR).
  • Dr Cindy Ong, Co-Chair for the International Spaceborne Imaging Spectroscopy (ISIS) Technical Committee. Research Team Leader - Spectral Sensing, CSIRO Minerals Resources.

Date: Thursday 19th November 2015
Time: 12:30 – 1.30 pm
Location: ARRC Auditorium, 26 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington, WA



Imaging Spectroscopy (IS or hyperspectral technology) from space is shaping up to be the next big thing in optical spaceborne satellites.  Touted as a game changer, they bring promises of diagnostic, rather than relative, measurements.  Earth Observation (EO) from space[lau089 1]  already represents as the most powerful source of essential environmental information for Australia and contributes over $3.3 billion to Australia’s GDP.  IS will be a step change, akin to seeing Earth through brand new lenses.  IS will provide new eyes for a range of users. Examples include helping mineral explorers to better understanding where to drill and providing land managers with a complete picture of the Australian landscape, such as by extending previously uncertain estimates of dry woody material and non-vegetated surfaces.  Importantly, IS sensors will hit our skies very soon - in fact 15 missions are scheduled to be launched in the next 5 years. 

The International Spaceborne Imaging Spectroscopy (ISIS) Working Group was initiated and formed by Dr Alex Held (CSIRO) in 2007 in Hilo Hawaii after the announcement of the numerous international IS missions.  The WG’s initial mission was to provide a forum for the IS community to discuss upcoming spaceborne IS missions.  The ISIS Technical Committee was formally established as a Technical Committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE) Geoscience Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) in 2010 with the main goal of enabling IS sensor providers to share, promote, inform, network with and collaborate on current and future spaceborne IS spectroscopy missions, with a focus on land surface and coastal zone research.  Today, ISIS TC [lau089 2] is co-chaired by CSIRO via Dr Cindy Ong (CMR) and the German Aerospace (Mr Andreas Müller and Dr Uta Heiden) and the focus has extended to calibration and validation and standards while the membership has grown to include users across a range of applications areas.

One of the most advanced IS satellite mission is the Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP,org) German hyperspectral satellite mission that aims at monitoring and characterising Earth’s environment on a global scale. Scheduled for launch in 2018, EnMAP serves to measure and model key dynamic processes of Earth’s ecosystems by extracting geochemical, biochemical and biophysical parameters, which provide information on the status and evolution of various terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Once operating, EnMAP will provide unique data needed to address major environmental challenges related to human activity and climate change. The mission’s main objective is to study and decipher coupled environmental processes and to assist and promote the sustainable management of Earth’s resources. Despite being a primarily scientific mission, EnMAP has a clear potential to evolve towards operational service.

In the Australian context, the Imaging Spectroscopy Hub (ISH) is being developed as part of the National Resources Science Precinct (NRSP) to build the R&D infrastructure and capabilities in preparation for these new EO IS missions.  This initiative led by Dr Ong has the vision of harnessing major scientific infrastructure and well established geoscience expertise surrounding the NRSP to build a hub with capability to receive, access and analyse data from multiple imaging spectroscopy (IS) sensors and deliver tailored geoscience information products.  As NRSP is a WA-based and resources science initiative, the NRSP-ISH currently has a strong geoscience focus but it is hoped that it will form the platform to catalyst further extensions to other applications and across Australia.

Andreas and Cindy will be talking about current developments in future spaceborne IS, the work of the ISIS TC, the EnMAP mission and the NRSP-ISH.

About the speakers

Andreas is the Head of Department, Land Surface Applications Earth Observation Center, German Remote Sensing Data Center, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR, German Aerospace Center).  Andreas was an instrumental figure in securing EnMAP, the first IS satellite mission for Germany.  He received his diploma at the Working-Group for Geo-Scientific Remote Sensing at Munich in geology and remote sensing in May 1990. Andreas’ research interests include: radiometric and spectral simulation of imaging spectrometers; spectral characterisation of natural surfaces; and application development focusing on: land degradation and mining environments.

Cindy is currently a Research Team Leader for the Spectral Sensing Team in CSIRO Mineral Resources. Her graduate training was in Mechanical Engineer and her PhD was in Applied Physics. For the past 20 years, she has worked as a research scientist performing R&D on hyperspectral technologies focused on delivering quantitative environmental measurements for the mining industry and natural resources management and regulatory requirements. More recently her work has extended to the extractive and agriculture industry. Her expertise lies in the areas of environmental regulations and environmental monitoring, especially related to mining and extractive industry, i.e., rehabilitation, dust, acid mine drainage, fugitive gas; calibration and validation, spectral libraries and standards related to spectroscopy and earth observation.

RSVP and enquiries: Cindy Ong (08) 6436 8677

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