IACTEC Space

Start year
2016
Organizational Unit
    Description

    IACTEC-Space is the project within IACTEC that drives innovation and development related to the use of small satellite payloads and process of the acquired data.

    In early 2021, the team successfully launched DRAGO-1: a compact camera conceived to map the Earth in two observing bands in the short-wave infrared (SWIR) range. After one year of operation, DRAGO-1 proved its worth in many of the applications for which it was designed, such as volcano eruption control or wild-fire monitoring.

    DRAGO-1 (Demonstrator for Remote Analysis of Ground Observations)

    The next milestone of the project will be ALISIO I: the first Canarian satellite, featuring an improved version of DRAGO-1, called DRAGO-2. The team is also working on two upcoming projects with an even higher level of complexity: IACSAT-1, the IAC's first astronomical space observatory, and VINIS, an Earth-observation camera with sub-10 meter resolution and simultaneous observation capability in the visible and SWIR bands.

    Principal investigator
    Project manager
    Collaborators

    DRAGO imagery

    Wild-fire monitoring

    Wild-fire monitoring
    Fires in July 2021 in British Columbia (Canada). Top: Sentinel-2 visible composition. Bottom: image obtained by combining the two DRAGO-1 observation bands in SWIR, where burned regions can be clearly outlined, with no smoke traces in the image.

    Volcano eruption control

    Volcano eruption control
    Volcano eruption in La Palma (Canary Islands, Spain) on September 2021. Top: Picture taken with a conventional visible camera from ground. Bottom: SWIR image taken with DRAGO-1 from ground at the same time, superposed on the visible image, so that we can see very clearly its capacity to penetrate clouds of particles such as those emitted by a volcano.

    Wide-field mapping

    Canary Islands
    False-color representation of the images taken by DRAGO-1 while pointing to the Canary Islands (Spain) on August 2021. Each image taken by DRAGO-1 is 200 km wide, so this 500 km wide composition corresponds to three passes on three distinct days.

    Desertification monitoring

    Dubai
    Dubai and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), as seen by DRAGO-1 on September 2021 through its SWIR-1 channel (1100 nm). Notable features like the Palm Islands are easily recognizable, as well as roads, ports or solar farms, among others.

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    Capability
    Design and development of satellite payloads
    Design and development of satellite payloads

    Taking advantage of the accumulated experience of optomechanical and optoelectronic instrumentation design in extreme environments and in space, the IAC through IACTec designs and constructs payloads for observing the earth from satellites in low orbits.