The effects of any budget/program decisions made since the information was collected during 1997-98 are NOT reflected in the National Security Space Road Map (NSSRM).

(U) Naval EarthMap Observer (NEMO) Program

-Road Map
-Text Version

Overview (U):

(U) The Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) are currently in the critical design phase of the NEMO program. NEMO will demonstrate the utility of a hyperspectral earth-imaging system to support Naval needs for characterization of the littoral regions of the world. The NEMO satellite system will provide a large hyperspectral database using the 30m Ground Sample Distance (GSD) Coastal Ocean imaging Spectrometer (COIS) and a co-registered 5m GSD Panchromatic Imager (PIC) to provide simultaneous high spatial resolution imagery.

(U) The combined HSI and panchromatic images will provide critical phenomenology to aid in the operation of Naval systems in the littoral environment. The imagery can also satisfy a number of commercial and science community requirements for moderate spatial and high spectral resolution remote sensing data over land and water. Specific areas of interest for the Navy include bathymetry, water clarity, bottom type, atmospheric visibility, bioluminescence potential, beach characterization, underwater hazards, total column atmospheric water vapor, and detection and mapping of subvisible cirrus. These data support requirements for Joint Strike and Joint Littoral warfare, particularly for environmental characterization of the littoral ocean. Demonstrations of timely downlinks of near real-time data to the warfighter are also being formulated. The NEMO satellite is planned to launch in mid-2000 followed by an operational period of 3 to 5 years.

Description (U):

(U) The NEMO Spacecraft is built around a commercial spacecraft bus (LS-400) developed by Space Systems/Loral for the Globalstar communications program. The satellite is three-axis stabilized and consists of a trapezoidal main body and two deployable solar arrays. The NEMO spacecraft will be launched into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in mid-2000. The spacecraft will be placed in a sun-synchronous (97.81 degree inclination) orbit at 605.5 km altitude with a 10:30 a.m. ascending equator crossing. This orbit will provide a 7 day repeat coverage ability to allow, at a minimum, weekly access to any point on the earth. The 10:30 a.m. orbital crossing ensures consistent image quality and minimal cloud cover

(U) The COIS instrument will provide images of littoral regions with 210 spectral channels over a bandpass of 0.4 to 2.5 um. Since ocean environments have reflectances typically less than 5%, this system requires a very high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). COIS will sample over a 30 km swath width with a 60 m Ground Sample Distance (GSD) with the ability to go to a 30 m GSD by utilizing the systems attitude control system to "nod" (i.e., use ground motion compensation to slow down the ground track of the field of view).

(U) One unique aspect of NEMO is an on board processing system, a feature extraction and data compression software package developed by NRL called the Optical Real-Time Spectral Identification System (ORASIS). ORASIS employs a parallel, adaptive hyperspectral method for real time scene characterization, data reduction, background suppression, and target recognition. The use of ORASIS is essential for management of the massive amounts of data expected from the NEMO HSI system, and for developing Naval products under HRST.

(U) ORASIS is implemented on the Imagery On-Board Processor (IOBP), an advanced high speed computer consisting of a highly parallel array of digital signal processors, capable of sustaining 2.5 GigaFLOPS. The ORASIS algorithm and the radiation tolerant IOBP allow the first demonstration of real-time processing of hyperspectral data in space.

User Impact (U):

(U) NEMO meets the unique requirements of Naval Forces by imaging the littoral regions of the world in 210 spectral bands over a 0.4 to 2.5 um bandpass with a very high SNR. NEMO has the goal of characterizing the dynamics of the littoral environment through the use of hyperspectral imagery and the development of coupled physical and bio-optical models of the littoral ocean. The collected images provide critical phenomenology to model the littoral environment. Specific areas of study for the Navy include water clarity, bathymetry, underwater hazards, currents, oil slicks, bottom type, atmospheric visibility, tides, bioluminescence potential, beach characterization, atmospheric water vapor, and subvisible cirrus along with terrestrial images of vegetation and soil. These data support identified requirements for Joint Strike and Joint Littoral warfare, particularly for environmental characterization of the littoral ocean and intelligent preparation of the battlespace for amphibious assault.

(U) The Naval Research Laboratory, which had developed the original concept of NEMO with it's industry partner STDC, was selected by the Naval Space S&T Program Office to head up the design, development, and implementation of the NEMO program. STDC partnered or developed contracts with the following companies to provide key elements of the NEMO satellite program:

- Space Systems/Loral
- Science Applications International Corporation
- Allied Signal Technical Services Corporation
- Applied Coherent Technologies
- Swales Aerospace Corporation

(U) Other Milestones:

- System Requirements Review: 6/97
- System Design Review: 1/98
- Preliminary Design Review: 7/98
- Critical Design Review: 12/98
- Test Readiness Review: 12/99
- Launch: 8/00

Programmatics (U):

(U) Programmed.

(U) Organizations and Funding:

Images (U):

NEMO ArchitectureNEMO Architecture
NEMO Bus BackThe Back of the NEMO Bus
NEMO ConceptNEMO Concept
NEMO SpacecraftNEMO Spacecraft
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Initiatives (U): None.

Related Requirements (U): None.

Related Categories (U): None.

Road Map Placements (U):

Major DoD Space ProgramsEvolution of the Selected Space Programs
This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

Naval EarthMap Observer (NEMO)
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):


(U) This project is related to an NRL 6.1 Accelerated Research Initiative, Spectral Signatures of Optical Processes in the Littoral Zone (Spectral Signatures), in which a series of experiments are being performed in conjunction with AVIRIS, HYDICE, and PHILLS overflights, in order to advance understanding of the dynamics of optical properties in the coastal ocean. Results of this 6.1 research program are expected to have direct impact on the model and algorithm development elements of this program. This program feeds into the ONR Coastal Benthic Optical Properties (CoBOP) program by providing hyperspectral remote sensing data and the processing and analysis of that data. We anticipate supporting CoBOP experiments with ocean PHILLS overflights for the next two years. We will provide similar support for a new ONR program, the Hyperspectral Coastal Ocean Dynamics Experiment (HyCODE), which begins in FY 99.

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Tom Wilson, Naval Research Laboratory, Open Phone: (202) 767-0518.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 20 October 1998


(U) For comments/suggestions contact: Office of the National Security Space Architect (NSSA), 571-432-1300.

(U) Road Map Production Date: 23 June 2001

The effects of any budget/program decisions made since the information was collected during 1997-98 are NOT reflected in the National Security Space Road Map (NSSRM).