HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING
Fluorescence map by Forschungszentrum Jülich
Hyperspectral imaging plays a crucial role in environmental monitoring. Its ability to capture fine spectral details allows researchers, scientists, and decision-makers deep assess to ecosystems, natural resources, and environmental changes and provides data for informed decision-making.
Large-scale mapping of the environment is typically conducted from aerial platforms such as satellites or airborne, allowing remote monitoring of areas that would otherwise be hard to reach.
When satellite imagery provides information with tens of meters resolution, airborne data can bring its level to 1 cm. The drone-based hyperspectral imaging systems can deliver data even on the sub-centimeter level. This enables the identification of subtle changes and features that might be missed by other imaging methods.
Here are some examples of hyperspectral imaging used in environmental monitoring:
Water Quality Monitoring
Hyperspectral imaging is applied to assess water quality parameters such as chlorophyll content and turbidity, and detect harmful algal blooms and pollutants. Algae infestations, the effect of chemical effluents by agriculture, and microplastics are also typical issues where hyperspectral imaging can be efficiently applied.
Prevent and Monitor Natural Disasters
Hyperspectral imaging can be used to monitor and prevent natural disasters such as wildfires, landslides, and floods. For example, the presence and distribution fire senstive materials in nature or among infrastructure can be mapped by airborne spectral imaging allowing preventive measures to minimize fire risk.
Hyperspectral imaging enables the identification and tracking of pollutants in air, water, and soil. Mineral-based fluids and materials have very distinctive spectra in SWIR, MWIR, and LWIR range which can be used to detect contamination even when invisible to the eye.
Mineral and Geological Mapping
In geology and mineral exploration, hyperspectral imaging can identify and locate minerals and rock types based on their unique spectral signatures.
Hyperspectral imaging assists in analyzing soil properties such as moisture content, mineral composition, and organic matter. This information is crucial for assessing soil health, erosion potential, and agricultural suitability.
Climate Change Analysis
By monitoring changes in vegetation, glaciers, and other environmental features, hyperspectral imaging contributes to research on how ecosystems respond to shifting climatic conditions.
Land Cover and Land Use Mapping
Hyperspectral imaging can accurately classify land cover types such as forests, wetlands, urban areas, and agricultural fields. This information is essential for urban planning, natural resource management, and monitoring changes in land use over time.
Hyperspectral imaging aid in assessing and protecting forest health enabling the early detection of diseases, insect infestations, and other stressors.