Orbital Sidekick and Corning Release High-Fidelity Hyperspectral Images from Space

This image from Orbital Sidekick, showing a region of East Timor, was taken from the International Space Station using a Corning sensor to produce high-fidelity hyperspectral images from space. (courtesy; Orbital Sidekick)

(26 April 2019 – Corning) Orbital Sidekick and Corning have released the first images from the International Space Station (ISS) demonstrating hyperspectral imaging capabilities.

Launched in June 2018 and placed into operation in December 2018, Orbital Sidekick’s International Space Station Hyperspectral Earth Imaging System Trial (ISS-HEIST) platform utilizes a Corning hyperspectral sensor that takes incoming light reflected off surfaces and divides it into color bands not visible to the human eye.

More capable than cameras currently in place on traditional imaging satellites, hyperspectral sensing technology has applications for commercial Earth exploration in a variety of areas, from oil and gas to agriculture.

“With our Spectral Intelligence analytics platform, we convert hyperspectral data into actionable information that our customers can use to optimize safety operations in the oil and gas industry while also achieving compliance obligations,” said Daniel Katz, co-founder and chief executive officer, Orbital Sidekick. “Through our collaboration with Corning, we see significant potential for this technology in disaster monitoring and in the defense, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors.”

Corning’s hyperspectral sensor was selected for Orbital Sidekick’s ISS-HEIST platform for its reliability and performance combined with low cost, compact size, and light weight. Developed in Keene, New Hampshire, and in Corning’s Sullivan Park facility in New York, the sensor deployed on the ISS covers light from the high ultraviolet to the near-infrared portion of the spectrum. Future generations of this Corning technology will cover the portions of the spectrum from high ultraviolet farther into the infrared.

“Now more than ever, industries are driven to conserve natural resources and to reduce human impact on the environment,” said Curt Weinstein, senior vice president, OEM and advanced networks, Corning Optical Communications. “Corning is continually innovating and investing in capabilities like hyperspectral imaging so our customers can offer next-generation services that change lives.”

This collaboration with Orbital Sidekick extends Corning’s legacy in manned and unmanned space exploration. In 1961, the Mercury spacecraft made the first successful American manned flight equipped with heat-resistant windows manufactured by Corning. The company went on to create the window glass for every manned American spacecraft – from Gemini and Apollo flights to the space shuttle – and continued to produce glass for numerous applications such as the International Space Station. Corning also produced glass for the mirror of the Hubble Telescope, and more recently the optics for NASA’s New Horizons mission which passed Pluto in 2015.

About Corning Incorporated

Corning is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science, with a more than 165-year track record of life-changing inventions. Corning applies its unparalleled expertise in glass science, ceramic science, and optical physics along with its deep manufacturing and engineering capabilities to develop category-defining products that transform industries and enhance people’s lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in RD&E, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and deep, trust-based relationships with customers who are global leaders in their industries.

Corning’s capabilities are versatile and synergistic, which allows the company to evolve to meet changing market needs, while also helping our customers capture new opportunities in dynamic industries. Today, Corning’s markets include optical communications, mobile consumer electronics, display technology, automotive, and life sciences vessels. Corning’s industry-leading products include damage-resistant cover glass for mobile devices; precision glass for advanced displays; optical fiber, wireless technologies, and connectivity solutions for state-of-the-art communications networks; trusted products to accelerate drug discovery and delivery; and clean-air technologies for cars and trucks.

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