Airborne Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer
The Airborne Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (AirMISR) is an airborne instrument for obtaining multi-angle imagery similar to that of the satellite-borne Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument, which is designed to contribute to studies of the Earth's ecology and climate. AirMISR flies on the NASA ER-2 aircraft. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California built the instrument for NASA.
Unlike the spaceborne MISR instrument, which has nine cameras oriented at various angles, AirMISR utilizes a single camera in a pivoting gimbal mount. A data run by the ER-2 aircraft is divided into nine segments, each with the camera positioned to a MISR look angle. The gimbal rotates between successive segments, such that each segment acquires data over the same area on the ground as the previous segment. This process is repeated until all nine angles of the target area are collected. The swath width, which varies from 11 km in the nadir to 32 km at the most oblique angle, is governed by the camera's instantaneous field-of-view of 7 meters cross-track x 6 meters along-track in the nadir view and 21 meters x 55 meters at the most oblique angle. The along-track image length at each angle is dictated by the timing required to obtain overlap imagery at all angles, and varies from about 9 km in the nadir to 26 km at the most oblique angle. Thus, the nadir image dictates the area of overlap that is obtained from all nine angles. A complete flight run takes approximately 13 minutes.