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Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer 

AVIRIS is a proven instrument in the realm of Earth Remote Sensing. It is a unique optical sensor that delivers calibrated images of the upwelling spectral radiance in 224 contiguous spectral channels (bands) with wavelengths from 400 to 2500 nanometers. AVIRIS has been flown on four aircraft platforms: NASA's ER-2 jet, Twin Otter International's turboprop, Scaled Composites' Proteus, and NASA's WB-57. The ER-2 flies at approximately 20 km above sea level, at about 730 km/hr. The Twin Otter aircraft flies at 4km above ground level at 130km/hr. AVIRIS has flown North America, Europe, portions of South America, and Argentina.The main objective of the AVIRIS project is to identify, measure, and monitor constituents of the Earth's surface and atmosphere based on molecular absorption and particle scattering signatures. Research with AVIRIS data is predominantly focused on understanding processes related to the global environment and climate change.

Map of the Gulf of Mexico with markers on it
AVIRIS extensively mapped the region affected by the spill during 456 flights conducted between May 6 and October 4, 2010, at the request of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.