Healthier oceans may result from scanning from space with the Geostationary Littoral Imaging and Monitoring Radiometer (GLIMR) sensor being developed by Raytheon, an RTX business. The device has completed its critical design review and is in its build and test phases.
The sensor, which will be used by NASA, is designed to monitor the physical and biological conditions of coastal waters from space (see image above), scanning across the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. The broadband system is a color hyperspectral imager that operates across visible, infrared (IR), and ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths to collect ocean data from a geostationary orbit.
David Broadbent, president of Space Systems at Raytheon, said, “GLIMR will help enable us to better study our planet's oceans and lakes. With this new capability, we'll be able to better track coral bleaching, chlorophyl and plankton health, oil spills, and harmful algal blooms, otherwise known as red tide.” The instrument will provide high-sensitivity, high-spatial, and high-temporal resolution measurements of coastal and ocean ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico, parts of the southeastern U.S. coastline, and the Amazon River plume. It will help identify such dangers as harmful algae blooms and oil spills.
Raytheon recently completed the Phase A final review on the Geostationary Extended Observations Ocean Color instrument (GeoXO OCX) for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is applying design experience from GLIMR for development of the next-generation operational weather satellite payload planned for launch in 2032. NASA’s lead organization for the GLIMR contract is the University of New Hampshire, led by principal investigator Dr. Joseph Salisbury working with NOAA, NASA, and scientists from partnering universities.