Space Instruments

Space Instruments has developed sensor and software systems and provided long term support to a long list of household names in technology:

U.S. Government agencies:

- U.S.D.A. Forest Service
- DARPA (Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency)
- U.S. Air Force

Brazilian Federal Agencies:

- IBAMA (Department of Interior/National Park Service)
- INPE (National Institute for Space Research)
- AEB (Brazilian Space Agency)
- Brazilian Federal Police

U.S. Aerospace Industry

- Raytheon (formerly Hughes Aircraft Company)
- Rockwell International
- Northrup Grumman Space Technology (formerly TRW)
- Hamilton Sundstrand (formerly Orbital Sciences)

European Aerospace Industry

- Dornier System


Space Instruments designs and produces its existing sensor product line and has subcontracted to technology leaders on many projects over the years.

Range of products and services

Our work covers a range of high technology services from preproposal activities through design, hardware fabrication, testing, and operational phases of sensor programs.


  • Design concepts for visible, infrared and microwave sensors
  • Sensor design tradeoffs with regard to sensitivity, detectors, data rates, optics, antennas, data handling, etc.
  • Detailed design of inflight calibration systems
  • Spacecraft and STS interface specifications

Mission Planning

  • Mission planning for experimental and operational systems
  • Detailed experiment generation
  • Sensor mode control and command logic

Data Processing

  • Onboard and ground-based sensor data processing architecture
  • Detailed algorithms for signal processing

Program Experience

Space Instruments' staff members have performed critical program tasks in the design, fabrication, testing, and flight portions of a variety of successful space sensor projects, including:

Remote Sensing

  • Multispectral scanning, pushbroom, and staring radiometers for crop surveys, geology, ocean monitoring, and urban planning
  • Synthetic aperture radars for soil moisture determination, geology, ocean monitoring, and water resources planning
  • Microwave scatterometers for wind velocity measurements


  • Scanning IR search / track sensors
  • Mosaic IRCCD sensors for background suppression and target streak detection
  • Laser and fiber optics systems
  • Real time on board data processors for background discrimination, target acquisition, target tracking, and noise suppression

Atmospheric Sciences

  • Scanning and staring earth radiation budget sensors for climatology
  • IR temperature and humidity sounders for meteorology
  • Microwave passive radiometers for meteorology


  • Cryogenic LWIR background mapping sensors for infrared celestial surveys
  • Visible imaging for deep space interplanetary probes

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