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Earth Science and Applications from Space 18 HyspIRI Hyperspectral Infrared Imager Launch: 2013â2016 Mission size: Medium Orbit: LEO, SSO Agency: NASA Estimated cost: $300 million Areas of interest: Ecosystems, Health, Solid Earth Instruments: Hyperspectral spectrometer Benefits: Data on changes in vegetation type and deforestation for ecosystem management and monitoring of changes in carbon sinks Early warnings of drought Improved exploration for natural resources Predictions of the likelihood of volcanic eruptions and landslides Highly detailed images of Earthâs surface are invaluable for studying and managing ecosystems and other natural re- sources. Satellite-based sensors can detect early signs of drought, soil types prone to landslides, volcanic unrest that may precede eruptions, and changes in the health and extent of coral reefs. Forest and agricultural managers can make use of timely, high-resolution images from space in responding to fires, the effects of invasive species, and other ecosystem threats. This imagery also helps scientists analyze climate variability and longer-term climate change. HyspIRI will employ a hyperspectral imager and a thermal infrared scanner to monitor a variety of ecological and geological features at a wide range of wavelengths. The system will take advantage of recent advances in detectors, optics, and electronics to provide global coverage every 30 days at a resolution of 45 meters. Both instruments would be point- able, to allow for frequent high-resolution sampling of volcanic activity, wildfires, droughts, and other critical events. The system would also map surface rock and soil composition, in many cases with a quality close to that provided by laboratory X-ray diffraction analysis. These data would benefit exploration for natural resources as well as envi- ronmental remediation activities.