Raytheon to build sensor to measure coastal and ocean ecosystems

Raytheon will build the GLIMR sensor used to monitor the earth's coastal waters from orbit. (NASA)

Aerospace manufacturer Raytheon has been selected as the contractor to build the Geostationary Littoral Imaging and Monitoring Radiometer (GLIMR) sensor, under a contract from the University of New Hampshire.

GLIMR, NASA's selected Earth Venture Instrument-5 investigation, will be NASA's first hyperspectral imager in geostationary, or GEO, orbit. Hyperspectral imaging collects and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum including visible light, infrared and ultraviolet frequencies to create a highly detailed view of physical and biological conditions in coastal waters.

The instrument will provide high-sensitivity, high-spatial and high-temporal resolution measurements of coastal and ocean ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico, parts of the southeastern U.S. coastline and the Amazon River plume. The GLIMR data will enable authorities to respond rapidly to natural and manmade coastal water disasters, such as harmful algae blooms and oil spills. The data will also help improve the coastal ecosystem's sustainability and resource management.

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RELATED: Newest NASA space sensor to monitor coastal waters

"GLIMR will collect the sharpest and most colorful view of physical and biological conditions in coastal waters ever seen from GEO," said Jeff Puschell, GLIMR instrument scientist and principal engineering fellow at Raytheon Space Systems, in a statement. "A hyperspectral imager is essential technology to capture new insight about our changing coastal ecosystems."

The GLIMR instrument is scheduled to launch aboard its host spacecraft in the 2026-2027 timeframe.

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