The International Space Station is expanding the use of its Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) instrument to more Earth scientists and environmental researchers.
HICO records highly detailed images of various environments on Earth for research, support and management. Now that the instrument has completed its primary mission of collecting regional coastal ocean data for civilian and naval research, NASA will continue to support HICO and encourage new users. HICO is mounted to the station's Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility.
Scientists can use information from HICO to detail the biological and chemical signatures of aquatic and terrestrial materials. When the instrument scans an area of Earth, its sensor can reveal things invisible to the human eye such as chemical compounds in coastal waters or the presence of microscopic sea life. The Environmental Protection Agency has tapped HICO as a resource to monitor coastal water quality.
New proposals for scientific or commercial use of HICO's data should be submitted through the HICO website. Proposals requesting new uses of the instrument will be evaluated by the International Space Station Program, NASA's Science Mission Directorate, the HICO project scientist and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space. Oregon State University in Corvallis manages the HICO website, and the Naval Research Laboratory operates the sensor itself.
Users can access historical and any future collections of HICO data through the NASA Ocean Color website, managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
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More information: To submit a proposal to use HICO, visit:
To view the Ocean Color website, visit:
For more about the International Space Station or information on past, ongoing, and future station research activities, including research results and publications, visit: