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ARSPACE (Army Space Command) planned to fly a series of three low-cost medium resolution imagery satellite missions in conjunction with NASA. The Small Spacecraft Technology Initiative (SSTI) was developed by NASA's Office of Space Access and Technology as part of an effort to advance the state of spacecraft technology and reduce the costs associated with design, integration, launch, and operation of small satellites. The program was uniquely designed to allow NASA to work in partnership with industry to infuse new state-of-the-art technology rapidly into science and commercial missions.

Phillips Laboratory led an aggressive, creative, and revolutionary space technology and space experiment program to transform American space warfighter capability. Specifically, the Integrated Space Technology Demonstration (ISTD) program is a partnership between the Air Force, other government agencies, and industry that uses a cost-sharing method of acquisition that is mutually beneficial to all parties. Private industry is interested in advancing space technology for commercial reasons. Other government agencies, such as NASA, are conducting scientific experiments in space. The military is looking at ways to improve the detection of objects on the ground to assist the tactical commander in the field. To meet their needs, civilian government agencies and private corporations are willing to invest in the building and launch of satellites into orbit. By "piggybacking" experiments on satellites launched by others, Phillips Laboratory, through the ISTD program, can significantly cut costs.

One element of the ISTD program is Warfighter -1. In the fall of 1995, Phillips Laboratory completed its mission concept definition of a broad-area coverage, Hyperspectral Imager (HSI) demonstration, to support resolution AFSPC mission area deficiencies. Prior to this, the Laboratory also finalized a memorandum of agreement with NASA to use a Multispectral Imager (MSI) to be flown on NASA's Clark spacecraft. Clark would transmit imaging data to a mobile ground station. Phillips Laboratory procured through NASA this specially equipped satellite communications van from Wolf Coach, headquarters in Auburn, Massachusetts, in late 1995. The purpose of this space demonstration is to determine the feasibility of MSI data when downlinked to a commercially oriented mobile van.


On 5 August 1997 Orbital Sciences Corp., Germantown, MD was awarded a $32,500,081 cost-plus- award-fee contract to provide for the Integrated Space Technology Demonstrations (ISTD) Warfighter-1 demonstration. Warfighter-1 is a mission focused demonstration of a tactical Hyperspectral Imaging (HIS) remote sensing system.

The Warfighter-1 program is an advanced technology demonstration program that will provide hyperspectral imagery and related technology and services as a part of OSC’s ORBView-4 high-resolution imaging satellite. Iinitially, the plan was to use ORBView-3, and OrbImage's OrbView-4 (OV-4) is being modified to incorporate the Warfighter-1 (WF-1) hyperspectral sensor. The extremely design and polar orbit of OV-4 make it very well suited for its earth remote sensing mission. The satellite’s high-performance electro-optical digital camera will be modified to add hyperspectral imaging capabilities. The program will also include the evaluation and validation of hyperspectral technologies, development of a mobile ground station, related image processing algorithms and software for assessment of tactical utility for military applications.

Hyperspectral imagery is an emerging technology that utilizes a large number of frequency bands enabling the detection and identification of ground targets and conditions that would not be seen by other satellite sensor systems. In addition, this first-of-a-kind Air Force program is also an experiment in leveraging commercial space systems to provide demonstration of advanced satellite technologies. Lessons learned from this program, which combines commercial and military market needs, could provide the Air Force with a potentially lower-cost alternative for future R&D and operational military space systems.

This demonstration is one of a series that will address deficiencies in Air Force Space Command's Mission Area Plan and develop methods of reducing life-cycle costs of future operational systems. There were 88 firms solicited and three proposals received. Contract is expected to be completed January 2001 with the launch of the spacecraft. Solicitation began October 1996; negotiations were completed February 1997. Phillips Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., is the contracting activity (F29601-97/C-0110).

470 Km
97.3 Deg. Inclination
Sun Synchronous
10:30am Descending Node

1-Meter Panchromatic
4-Meter Multispectral
8-Meter Hyperspectral

Launch Vehicle: OSC Taurus

Satellite Weight: 360 kg

Scheduled Launch Date: Mid FY00

Hyperspectral Payload Lifetime: 3 Yr Life/ 5 Yr Goal

Sensor Characteristics:

Body Scanning Whisk-Broom Scan Imager
Field of Regard: ±50°
8 x 8 Km Nominal Scene Size In Pan/Multispectral Modes
Panchromatic @ 1 & 2 Meter GSD
Multispectral - 4 Bands @ 4 Meter GSD
5 x 20 Km Scene Size For Hyperspectral Modes
Visible/NIR/SWIR/MWIR @ 8 Meter GSD
2 Grating Spectrometers
280 Spectral Bands, Ranging From 0.45 To 5.0 µm
Geo-Location Of Pixels
Panchromatic Pixels To Better Than 12 Meters @ 90%
Hyperspectral Pixels To Within 75 Meters 3
Downlink Data Rate: 150 Mbps
3 Watt X-Band Transmitter @ 8.2 GHz
Onboard Data Storage: 32 Gb
Five 100 Km2 Hypercubes
Uplink - NSA Encrypted
Downlink - Commercial Data Encryption Standard

Hyperspectral Focal Plane Characteristics

Array Array Band Operating Size Type Spacing Temp
Vis 40 x 640 Si 11.4nm 257 K NIR 80 x 640 HgCdTe 11.4nm 257 K SWIR 80 x 640 HgCdTe 11.4nm 195 K MWIR 80 x 640 HgCdTe 25 nm 90 K
Hyperpectral Band Characteristics
Band Wavelength Range (µm) #Bands
Vis 0.45-0.905 40 NIR 0.83-1.74 80 SWIR 1.58-2.49 80 MWIR 3.00-5.00 80
Commercial Band Characteristics
Pan 0.45-0.675 1 MS1 0.485±.007 1 MS2 0.565±.007 1 MS3 0.660±.008 1 MS4 0.830±.009 1


One of several focused, small satellite missions under development by NASA's Mission to Planet Earth enterprise, Lewis featured remote-sensing instruments designed to split up the spectrum of light energy reflected by Earth's land sur- faces into as many as 384 distinct bands. In addition, Lewis carried the Ultra- violet Cosmic Background astrophysics instrument built by the University of California at Berkeley. The satellite was built by TRW Space & Electronics Group, Redondo Beach, CA, for launch aboard a Lockheed Martin Launch Vehicle, under NASA's Small Spacecraft Technology Initiative.

Outfitted with advanced technology Earth-imaging instruments and subsystems in- tended to push the state-of-the-art in scientific and commercial remote sensing, NASA's Lewis satellite was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. at 11:51 PM PDT (0651 UT) on 23 August 1997 [schedule slipped from late 1996]. The planned orbit was a circular 523 km Sun-synchronous, 97.4 degree inclination, 10:30 AM equator ascending with a 7 day revisit interval. The spacecraft entered a flat spin in orbit that resulted in a loss of solar power and a fatal battery discharge. Contact with the spacecraft was lost on Aug. 26, and it then re- entered the atmosphere and was destroyed on Sept. 28. Lewis failed last fall due to a combination of a technically flawed attitude-control system design and inadequate monitoring of the spacecraft during its crucial early operations phase

The primary payload on Lewis consisted of two complementary hyperspectral imaging radiometers. The 384-band Hyperspectral Imager instrument built by TRW covers the spectral range from .4 microns to 2.5 microns. It was based on a convention- al airborne spectroradiometer design integrated with new advanced technology components, making it the first high-resolution hyperspectral imager to be flown in space. The Hyperspectral Imager could resolve objects on the ground as small as 16 feet (five meters) in its panchromatic band and 100 feet (30 meters) in its hyperspectral bands.

The companion hyperspectral instrument on Lewis was called the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array. Built by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, it could "see" the Earth in 256 bands with 1,000-foot (300-meter) resolution, in the spectral region from 1.0 to 2.5 microns. The Array's fundamentally new technology provided data in the same spectral bands as the Hyperspectral Imager while offering "factors-of-ten" reductions in size, cost and design complexity.

The Hyperspectral Imager and the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array accomplish theoretically equivalent measurements using different approaches. The Imager takes a snapshot of a narrow "one-dimensional" stripe of the Earth and separates the incoming optical signal into its component spectral bands for a concurrent spectral observation. It then uses the motion of the spacecraft over its ground track to build up the spatial image through successive snapshots. Conversely, the new approach enabled by the Array technology involves a "two- dimensional" snapshot of 256 adjacent stripes of the image, with each stripe viewed in a different spectral band. Using the motion of the spacecraft over the ground track, the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array then takes 256 successive snapshots, thus building up the complete spectral signature of each of the image stripes.

SSTI Characteristics
Size:59 in. hex x 80 in.
Weight:385.6 kg (850 lbs)
Electrical Power:370 W
Attitude Control:3-axis stabilized; zero momentum bias
Propulsion:Eight 1-lbf hydrazine thrusters
Telemetry:S-band (GSTDN-compatible)
Instruments: 178.86 lbs (81.3 kg)
  • Hyper Spectral Imager (HSI): earth observation and commercial remote sensing (TRW) (30-m Resolution, 384 Spectral Channels, 0.4 to 2.5 microns, .01 micron resolution; 5-m Panchromatic)
  • Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA): earth observation, (NASA GSFC)(1.0 to 2.5 micron resolution, 256 channel spectrometer; cloud editing)
  • Ultraviolet Cosmic Background (UCB): astrophysics and space science (UC Berkeley)
(partial list):
  • Pulse tube cryocooler
  • Solid state recorder
  • On-board data compression
  • GPS attitude determination
  • Wide field-of-view star tracker
  • Magnetically suspended reaction wheel
  • Lightweight structure with integrated thermal control
  • GFRP overwrapped propellant tank
Launch Vehicle:LMLV-1
Operational Orbit:523 km, sun synchronous (282.7 nm)
Design Life:3 years (minimum); 5 years (goal)
Reliability:0.83 at 5 years


Originally scheduled for mid-1996, Clark's schedule soon slipped to no sooner than late 1997, and then to March 1998. Problems with availability of Lockheed Martin's new Athena rocket pushed the launch date back until August 1998. In December 1997 an independent advisory team from Goddard recommended that Clark be terminated, since the delay and associated costs probably would push the program above the 15% cost-growth threshold for termination. In February 1998 NASA terminated the Clark Earth science mission due to mission costs, launch schedule delays, and concerns over the on-orbit capabilities the mission might provide. NASA had invested approximately $55 million in Clark. The Agency expects to recover some assets of the mission, such as some spacecraft payloads, components and subsystems which may be used on other NASA projects.

Its primary sensors included panchromatic 3-meter resolution, multispectral 3 bands 15-meter resolution, Off Nadir capability. The key to this was a Mobile Ground Station to real time downlink the imagery in theater. The LLV-1 version of the Lockheed Launch Vehicle family would have launched the 633-pound satellite satellite from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, into in a 318-mile, Sun-synchronous, 97.4-degree near-polar orbit.

The Clark spacecraft contract was awarded to CTA, Inc., Rockville, MD, under a $51 million contract for NASA's new Small Spacecraft Technology Initiative. Subcontractors include EarthWatch, providing a 3-meter panchromatic and 15-meter resolution sensor with appropriate SSR data storage, and Lockheed-Martin, supplying additional subsystems. Odetics is supplying the 160-Mb/s flight-model solid-state recorder (SSR) to EarthWatch Incorporated for the Clark Mission. The EarthWatch flight-model SSR has a capacity of 16 Gb, weighs less than 12 pounds, and consumes only 13 watts of power during simultaneous recording and playback. CTA won the original contract for Clark, but ran into problems on the program before it sold out to Orbital , and those problems continued under the new management.



CANCELLED February 1998


60 Days After Launch


Stennis Space Center Mission Data Management Center via the Internet
World Wide Web

INSTRUMENTS 206.58 lb. (93.9 kg)

SPACECRAFT BUS (DRY) 377.52 lbs (171.6 kg)



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Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Thursday, January 14, 1999 10:22:14 AM