Imaging spectrometry from aerial or spaceborne platforms, also known as hyperspectral remote sensing, provides dense sampled and fine structured spectral information for each image pixel, allowing the user to identify and characterize Earth surface materials such as minerals in rocks and soils, vegetation types and stress indicators, and water constituents. The recently launched DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS) installed on the International Space Station (ISS) closes the long-term gap of sparsely available spaceborne imaging spectrometry data and will be part of the upcoming fleet of such new instruments in orbit. DESIS measures in the spectral range from 400 and 1000 nm with a spectral sampling distance of 2.55 nm and a Full Width Half Maximum (FWHM) of about 3.5 nm. The ground sample distance is 30 m with 1024 pixels across track. In this article, a detailed review is given on the applicability of DESIS data based on the specifics of the instrument, the characteristics of the ISS orbit, and the methods applied to generate products. The various DESIS data products available for users are described with the focus on specific processing steps. The results of the data quality and product validation studies show that top-of-atmosphere radiance, geometrically corrected, and bottom-of-atmosphere reflectance products meet the mission requirements. The limitations of the DESIS data products are also subject to a critical examination.
Keywords: DESIS; ISS; MUSES; earth observation; hyperspectral remote sensing; imaging spectrometry.