The Melbourne University has joined-up with the German Aerospace centre to create the sharpest camera to date designed to capture images of Earth which will help enhance agriculture and emergency management.
This incredible camera is called an earth sensing imaging spectrometer. It can shoot infrared images and photos of our planet which are invisible to the naked eye!
"It will be a game-changer in terms of resolution and number of channels utilised for imaging the earth's surface," said Dr Peter Moar from La Trobe.
Once the images are captured, the camera beams them to the International Space Station, where they are then sent down to Earth.
If the camera is a success then it could potentially take some guesswork out of (and simplify) agriculture by:
Predicting the state of crops
Analysing vegetation conditions across the Earth’s surface
As well as, improving emergency management:
Flooding, fire, ash clouds, storm alerts
Rain and Drought alerts
La Trobe University’s team of engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists and naturalists will develop the software and hardware for the controls, while the Germans will focus on the optics.
If all goes well other joint ventures (which are already in talks) may eventuate in the realm of advanced aircraft & satellite monitoring & surveillance systems.
One of the lead researchers, Dr Eddie Custovic, is an electrical engineer and Industry Project Coordinator. He noted the Germans have just recently come up with a high-resolution imaging systems which can pin-point smoke trails & small fires from space.
“With Australia's enormous land mass, technologies such as these are crucial for effective natural disaster management,” he said.
The prototype was in development for 6 months, it won’t be until mid-2016 when a version is space-ready. The launch is not expected until sometime in 2017.