Hyperspectral Imagery - What is it? What can it do?
Scientific paper 7-9 May 1990
ARMY ENGINEER TOPOGRAPHIC LABS FORT BELVOIR VA
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Because all materials reflect, absorb, or emit photons in ways characteristic of their molecular makeup, a high resolution trace of the transmitted, reflected, emitted, or luminesced radiation versus wavelength forms a graphical record unique to a given material. The laboratory use of spectral measurements to identify minerals, pigments, and organic and inorganic compounds is an established and reliable technique and, the reasoning goes, if such could be done from air or space, it would give remote sensing a similar capability. Unfortunately, the useful absorption bands are narrow, 10 nanometers nm or less, and cannot be recorded with broad band systems such as Landsat. With the advent of the Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer AVIRIS and similar systems, the narrow band capability entered the remote sensing domain. AVIRIS is a true spectrometer, collecting reflecting solar energy 0.4-2.5 micra in about 220 channels, or images, each in a spectral bandwidth of about 9.6 nm. This type of narrow band information is called hyperspectral.
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