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Over the past few years, a joint Swiss/Belgian initiative resulted in a project to build a new generation airborne imaging spectrometer, namely APEX (Airborne Prism Experiment) under the ESA funding scheme named PRODEX. APEX is designed to be a dispersive pushbroom imaging spectrometer operating in the solar reflected wavelength range between 400 and 2500 nm. The spectral resolution is designed to be better than 10 nm in the SWIR and 5 nm in VIS/NIR range of the spectrum. The total FOV is on the order of ±14°, recording 1000 pixels across track, and max. 300 spectral bands simultaneously. The final radiance data products are well characterized and calibrated to be traceable to absolute standards. APEX is subdivided into an industrial team responsible for the optical instrument, the calibration home base, and the detectors, and a science and operational team, responsible for the processing and archiving of the imaging spectrometer data, as well as its operation. APEX is in its design phase with partial breadboarding activities and will be operationally available to the user community in the year 2005.