The commercial thermal infrared camera mounting the uncooled microbolometer array (UMBA), which detects thermal wavelengths from 8 to 14μm, was modified for space use and applied to the small earth-observing satellite called Rising-2. The satellite was launched in 2014, and the camera successfully took 17 of the cloud top and 3 of the land images from the sun-synchronous orbit. Observed brightness temperatures based on the reference data acquired in the laboratory before the launch have been compared with verified products derived from the Japanese meteorological satellite called MTSAT-2, and we confirmed that the UMBA could sense brightness temperature distribution of the target. The demonstration of the commercial thermal infrared camera in orbit would innovate in the development of space instruments as a new approach.
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