Hyperspectral imaging: defense technology transfers into commercial applications
Hyperspectral imaging, like many other of today's technologies, is moving into numerous commercial markets after developing and maturing in the defense sector.
While still having a strong presence in defense applications, hyperspectral imaging is now used in chemical detection, food quality assurance and inspection, vegetation monitoring, and plant phenotyping, among others.
For more than 20 years, advances in spectral imaging have been on display at SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing (DCS). The applications and capabilities of the technology have grown along with the conferences and exhibition at SPIE DCS.
The ability to see more than what is visible to the human eye has always been one of the goals of optical engineers. With hyperspectral imaging, they have been able to achieve just that. By accessing the entire electromagnetic spectrum, the sensors are able to image a specific wavelength range, or spectral band, and combine images of multiple bands into one 3D scene.
Through analysis, differences between the spectral bands can be found and interpreted. This is useful because materials - whether gasses, vegetation, minerals - leave unique spectral signatures in particular portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
|Hyperspectral image showing corn (yellow) and soy (green) distribution in McCook County, Iowa, for 2014 (left) and 2015 (right). Pixels labeled corn are shown in yellow, and pixels labeled soy are shown in dark green. Other colors correspond to minor crops (e.g., pink for alfalfa), water, or non-agricultural pixels (grey). SPIE Proceedings.
|Notional depiction of standoff trace chemical detection in a realistic application-relevant environment. SPIE Digital Library.|
Long-time attendees of SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing have seen first-hand the evolution of hyperspectral sensing and have watched its applications grow, such as food quality and inspection; remote sensing; and gas and chemical sensing.
In 1994, there was one conference, Algorithms for Multispectral and Hyperspectral Imagery, and a few companies on the exhibition floor with actual products using the entire spectrum of a scene.
In 2018, the original conference will return for its 24th installment, building on the addition of ultraspectral imagery in 2000, as the ability to add more lines became possible.
In addition, SPIE DCS now has conferences in "Next-Generation Spectroscopic Technologies," in its 11th year, and a new conference focused on standards for commercialization, "Hyperspectral Imaging Sensors: Innovative Applications and Sensor Standards."
SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2018 will run 15 through 19 April in Orlando, Florida.
Related SPIE content:
Thomas S. Pagano: Demonstrating Technologies for Hyperspectral Infrared Remote Sensing from Space on a CubeSat
A new low-mass, low-power hyperspectral imager for the detection of atmospheric species