SAMI (SCIFLI Airborne Multispectral Imager) is a new project that consists of an easily-reconfigurable multi-spectral sensor platform. While DyNAMITE’s imaging system relies on refractive optics, SAMI uses reflective magnification. Its 6-channel configuration can pick up light in mid-wave, short-wave, and near-infrared wavelengths, as well as the visible, and UV spectrums. This reduces costs and provides better data for SCIFLI. A unique high-speed filter wheel can divide the mid-wave infrared into even smaller narrow filter bands, very accurately managing photons from the sensor’s target and helping to infer surface temperature on spacecraft.

Still of Artemis on the launchpad taken by SAMI during a launch attempt

SAMI was developed specifically for NASA’s Space Launch System, which emits hot plumes invisible to the naked eye. By using SAMI’s broad infrared capabilities, these plumes are rendered visible and SCIFLI will be able to collect essential data on their movement and temperature. It flew in its first active mission with Artemis I, and is planned to be used for several upcoming missions.