ISS: Developing a multi-user system for Earth Sensing

MUSES will be the first commercial Earth-sensing platform on ISS.
MUSES will be the first commercial Earth-sensing platform on the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and its partner Teledyne Brown Engineering signed an agreement on 1 October 2013 to develop an instrument for the Multi-User System for Earth Sensing (MUSES), which will be mounted on the International Space Station (ISS).

"Aerospace has no greater task than to observe Earth and its ecosystems from space. It is effective to use existing platforms, such as the ISS, as carriers of Earth observation instruments," explained Professor Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Chairman of the DLR Executive Board. "We are delighted at the formation of this partnership between science and industry, which through its very existence will be a catalyst in the ongoing development of new Earth observation systems."

DLR further explains in a press release: "MUSES, the first commercial Earth-sensing platform on the ISS, will further increase the Space Station's research capabilities. The instruments installed on the platform – including high-resolution digital cameras – are oriented towards Earth. The platform can host up to four Earth observation instruments and offers the ability to change, upgrade, and robotically service those instruments.

DLR will develop and deliver a Visual/Near-Infrared Imaging Spectrometer to be integrated with Teledyne's MUSES platform, currently being developed under a cooperative agreement with NASA. In future and among many other tasks, the spectrometer will provide valuable information on the atmospheres over oceans and their bio-geophysical composition. The instrument will occupy one of the four Earth-looking instrument sites on MUSES."