A new year, and a new array, with 2024 set to deliver several exciting hyperspectral satellite platforms that will further expand our capabilities in Earth Observation.

Pixxel sits at the forefront of the world's venture into spaceborne hyperspectral earth imaging satellites, all geared towards extracting valuable insights and building a health monitor for the planet.  Already turning heads in the industry, Pixxel has successfully launched three satellites, a beta version of Aurora - their geospatial analytics platform - and collaborated closely with a global network of resellers and partners to expand their footprint. With six hyperspectral satellites with a 5 m spatial resolution (the world’s highest resolution so far) scheduled for launch in 2024, Pixxel's constellation is poised to achieve daily global coverage.

Why the hype? Hyperspectral imagery enables the detection, monitoring, and prediction of various global phenomena, supporting effective decision-making across a multitude of applications, including agriculture, mining, environment, and energy use cases. The versatility of hyperspectral technologies is evident in their diverse nature across different sectors, providing critical data for accurate analysis and response through a multitude of wavelengths. With high spectral resolution hyperspectral imagery, Pixxel is ushering in this new era of satellite technology, and we eagerly anticipate the upcoming launches in 2024.

Hamersley Australia Ore exploration and mineralogy mapping. Imagery courtesy of Pixxel, 2024

Sticking with the hyperspectral theme, Orbital Sidekick (OSK) is gearing up for an extensive expansion of its GHOSt constellation during early 2024, enhancing persistent monitoring capabilities that ensure operational integrity for organizations worldwide. Designed for swift insights, the GHOSt constellation utilizes onboard analysis to screen for unique chemical fingerprints, all whilst in orbit. This information is then beamed to Earth for direct customer reporting or enhanced analysis, highlighting features of interest such as mineral hotspots or methane concentrations. The GHOSt constellation signifies a substantial advancement in OSK's sensing capabilities, enabling the company to scale its commercial product with larger coverage and reduced revisit times with the world’s leading spatial resolution for such advanced hyperspectral capability. Alongside the two additional satellites being launched in 2024, OSK is thinking big, with plans to further expand the constellation to 14 satellites during 2026.

The CGG Satellite Mapping team is already incorporating hyperspectral satellite data into several of our workflows, but most notably our  mineral exploration work. The hyperspectral data complements our Bare Earth+ product beautifully, providing our clients with richer insight into mineral systems, and greater efficiency and confidence in identifying targets for further exploration.

It’s pretty clear that spaceborne hyperspectral is ever evolving with further innovation and launches coming this year by Xplore, Kuva Space, Planet, and more. Is the immediate future of remote sensing here? Hyperspectral certainly seems to be redefining remote sensing possibilities. Watch (this) space!