SURPRISE - Spatial light modulators for space applications
Applications for the Mobility sector - Space
Earth observation data is becoming increasingly important for our understanding of the planet and for addressing socio-ecological challenges – for example, in environmental monitoring. Methods for data acquisition and processing from space are currently limited by long acquisition times (up to several days per measurement), low spatial resolution (about 1 km), and the usable spectral range (primarily in the visible). Novel camera systems based on spatial light modulators can provide a remedy here. These are being realized and tested for the first time within the EU project SURPRISE. Fraunhofer IPMS contributes with its long-standing expertise with spatial light modulators and plans to develop a spatial light modulator suitable for space applications.
The main goal of the project is to develop a demonstrator. Core parameters include spectrally broadband operating range – in the visible (VIS), near-infrared (NIR), and mid-infrared (MIR) – improved performance in terms of ground resolution, and innovative on-board data processing and encryption functionality. Innovative Compressive Sensing (CS) technology is used for this purpose. It allows a two-dimensional image to be captured using a single-pixel detector. This is particularly interesting for the mid-infrared because no suitable 2D detectors are available in this spectral range. Compressive Sensing also offers advantages in processing large amounts of data as well as native data encryption.