The EnMAP Spaceborne Imaging Spectroscopy Mission for Earth Observation


Imaging spectroscopy, also known as hyperspectral remote sensing, is based on the characterization of Earth surface materials and processes through spectrally-resolved measurements of the light interacting with matter. The potential of imaging spectroscopy for Earth remote sensing has been demonstrated since the 1980s. However, most of the developments and applications in imaging spectroscopy have largely relied on airborne spectrometers, as the amount and quality of space-based imaging spectroscopy data remain relatively low to date. The upcoming Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) German imaging spectroscopy mission is intended to fill this gap. An overview of the main characteristics and current status of the mission is provided in this contribution. The core payload of EnMAP consists of a dual-spectrometer instrument measuring in the optical spectral range between 420 and 2450nm with a spectral sampling distance varying between 5 and 12nm and a reference signal-to-noise ratio of 400:1 in the visible and near-infrared and 180:1 in the shortwave-infrared parts of the spectrum. EnMAP images will cover a 30 km-wide area in the across-track direction with a ground sampling distance of 30 m. An across-track tilted observation capability will enable a target revisit time of up to four days at the Equator and better at high latitudes. EnMAP will contribute to the development and exploitation of spaceborne imaging spectroscopy applications by making high-quality data freely available to scientific users worldwide.

Remote Sensing