Hyperspectral imaging in recycling

Vegetation research and agriculture benefit from the scalability of the spectral imaging sensor technology from satellite to airborne and field use. In addition, greenhouse and laboratory use becomes relevant.

Both visible and NIR range are often used to map the plant or vegetation growth, health, and nutritional status. Chlorophyll absorbs light very efficiently until the so-called red-edge around 680 to 730 nm. Beyond 730 nm, much of the light reflects. On the other hand, the NIR range gives information, e.g., on the protein content of cellulose in the plants.

Precision agriculture

Hyperspectral imaging

Precision agriculture is a farming management practice that aims to improve yields while minimizing the negative impacts of farming on the environment. Improved results are achieved by operating hyperspectral sensors to obtain information from the conditions in the field (e.g., the moisture content of the soil) in or near real-time. This information can then be used to apply the right amount of seeds, water, and chemical substances to suitable locations at the right time. Hyperspectral imagery acquired and analyzed during the growing season can be used to identify and address problems immediately before they become critical.

Spectral imaging is the most advanced and information-rich technology for detecting diseases in the early phase, weeds and pests, nutrient and water efficiency, and overall yield prediction. The benefits that spectral imaging offers to precision farming are reduced use of chemicals, reduced weed related losses, lowered manual inspection costs, and better yield quality for the higher selling price.

In addition to crops, insects and other pests can attack forests, leading to significant socioeconomic and ecological losses. These infestations can lead to discoloration of foliage and defoliation, eventually weakening and killing vegetation. However, visible damage to the vegetation is often irreversible by the time the human eye can detect it. Infested trees can accurately be seen using high-resolution hyperspectral data, helping to employ informed management strategies and mitigation measures to restrict the extent of the damage.

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