High Speed VNIR/SWIR Hyperspectral Imager for Quantifying Terrestrial Ecosystems

Period of Performance: 04/11/2016 - 04/10/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Sciences, Inc.
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Compact, broad band, high speed hyperspectral imagers are needed for dynamic vegetation trait determination from unmanned aerial vehicle platforms. Dynamic trait determination will replace incomplete plant functional type classification limited by fixed parameterization with the result of more accurate prediction of carbon fluxes by Earth system models. • General statement of how this problem is being addressed. A novel, compact, robust, broadband hyperspectral imager tailored for airborne vegetation trait mapping will be modeled, developed, and tested. Spectral analysis algorithms will be developed to convert the measured hyperspectral cubes into trait maps. • What is to be done in Phase I? Under the Phase I a system model will be generated, and a bread- board system will be designed, built, and tested. The spectral analysis algorithm will be developed and used to demonstrate vegetation trait mapping using the breadboard system. The Phase I will also produce requirements and a conceptual design for a prototype instrument to be fully developed under a Phase II effort. • Commercial Applications and Other Benefits. UAV-based vegetation trait mapping is the primary application for the proposed system. Tangential applications include airborne mineral exploration and crop monitoring. This technology also has application to airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and remote material detection, including chemical and biological warfare agents and explosives. This technology may also be used for process monitoring. Benefits include the compact size, ruggedness, broad spectral coverage, and automated vegetation trait mapping capability.