Persistent day-night visible wavelength observations of the Arctic
Persistent satellite observations are essential for monitoring and understanding Earth's environmentally sensitive and rapidly changing Arctic region. This seminar describes compact wide field of view imagers onboard satellites in a highly elliptical orbit (HEO) that would stare at the Arctic and collect multispectral, high dynamic range visible and near-infrared imagery with sensitivity similar to the VIIRS Day Night Band (DNB). These HEO Day-Night Imagers (HDNIs) would provide high contrast imagery through the long polar night with dynamic range that extends from the brightest clouds, ice, and snow to reflected moonlight from open water, thereby enabling cloud/ice/sea surface discrimination even under very low light and low thermal contrast conditions. Rapidly refreshed HDNI data would result in frequent updates to key environmental products such as cloud imagery, cloud microphysical properties, ice and open water distribution including real-time maps of where leads are opening and new ice is forming, vector ice motion and vector polar winds from cloud motion. The relatively small size of this imager makes it ideal for deployment as a hosted payload.