Optical payloads

Optical payloads for Earth observation

Earth observation is one of the key applications for the NewSpace industry because of the scientific, technological, and economic benefits it offers. And optical payloads, such as those developed by ASE Optics, are an essential tool. With them, space mission operators obtain the necessary geospatial information (images and data) to know what is happening on the planet. 

At ASE Optics, we offer a new SWIR objective lens adaptable to current sensors on the market for integration into payloads onboard mini-satellites, small satellites, nanosatellites, and CubeSats for Earth observation.

Earth observation is important for the growth of the NewSpace industry: more and more applications and business models are emerging based on the exploitation of information and data collected by Earth observation satellites. With ASE Optics’ SWIR lens, end operators obtain the desired data, in the expected quality, for further exploitation.

ASE Optics’ SWIR lens has already been integrated into official missions, such as the launch of the DRAGO-2 camera, developed by the IAC and launched on 3th January 2023 aboard a Space X Falcon 9 rocket on the Transporter-6 mission.

Thanks to the SWIR lens from ASE Optics, the resolution of the camera has been significantly improved from 300 metres per pixel to 50 metres per pixel.

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SWIR lens for Earth Observation: adaptable, agile and customisable

By integrating ASE Optics’ SWIR lens, mission costs can be optimised and orbiting times reduced.

However, if the project requires a high level of specificity, ASE Optics offers customised solutions, depending on the nature of each mission. As experts in the design and development of integrated optical systems, we offer imaging solutions for optical payloads in the different spectral ranges:

  • SWIR: intended for surveillance and detection applications. It captures images through smoke and allows you to see camouflaged targets.
  • LWIR: allows the identification of any type of heat-generating body, regardless of light conditions. Commonly used in the defence sector, it is a growing spectral range for space applications, especially for the characterisation of different environmental variables as well as for the formulation of hydrological and climatological models.
  • NUV (near-UV): it allows to observe the regions around the Sun and to study the behaviour of some of its zones, since the Sun is a large active producer of ultraviolet light.

Other application areas

The ASE Optics’ optical systems for New Space are solutions for other applications beyond Earth observation:

  • Agricultural monitoring: personalised irrigation recommendation system based on satellite imagery and Artificial Intelligence.
  • Secure communications: very high speed, point-to-point, discrete, and secure communication link between military land and maritime platforms.
  • Geolocation and defence.
  • Other scientific applications.


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