The Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO™) is an imaging spectrometer based on the PHILLS airborne imaging spectrometers. HICO is the first spaceborne imaging spectrometer designed to sample the coastal ocean. HICO samples selected coastal regions at 90 m with full spectral coverage (380 to 960 nm sampled at 5.7 nm) and a very high signal-to-noise ratio to resolve the complexity of the coastal ocean. HICO demonstrates coastal products including water clarity, bottom types, bathymetry and on-shore vegetation maps. Each year HICO collects approximately 2000 scenes from around the world. The current focus is on providing HICO data for scientific research on coastal zones and other regions around the world.
For the first three years, HICO was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research as an Innovative Naval Prototype (INP); support is now provided by NASA's International Space Station (ISS) Program.
HICO Status August 5, 2014
HICO has collected over 10,000 images since its launch five years ago on September 10, 2009.
HICO was developed by The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) as an Innovative Naval Prototype (INP). HICO exceeded all its objectives as an INP and continues to operate after almost 5 years. ONR also supported the first three years of operations including the development and operation of the HICO website at Oregon State University (OSU). This ONR support ended in December 2012.
With the expiration of ONR funding, NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) Program now provides funding for the operation of HICO, including the OSU HICO website and data distribution. NRL continues to operate HICO, OSU still manages the HICO website, and NASA now provides data distribution.
As the ISS brings in new users through NASA’s ISS National Lab Office and the International Partners of the ISS Program, HICO operations have evolved to be consistent with other ISS operations. In a change from past HICO operations (in which data distribution was limited to researchers with approved research proposals), HICO operations now treat data distribution separately from data collection for new sites.
HICO data are now publicly available from both the OSU HICO website (in ENVI format) and the NASA Ocean Color website (in HDF5 format). Note that to access HICO data from the NASA website, an EOSDIS account is required.
As a demonstration instrument, HICO is designed to collect only one 50 x 200 km scene per orbit. NASA intends to balance collection opportunities between academic research and commercial/applied science requests.
The collection of new imagery for your study requires a brief submission that provides a short description of the proposed work, affiliation and funding information, and your locations of interest. Approval of new data collection requests are contingent on agreement to publish and share all data and results, including presentation of results at an annual HICO Team Meeting.