Airborne Hyperspectral Imaging

Brief Description

Airborne hyperspectral sensors are generally sensors mounted to light aircraft. Data are collected at contiguous, narrowband wavelengths for a specifically defined portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (usually between 400 and 900 nm). In order to determine what the reflectance represents, the reflected spectral data obtained by the hyperspectral sensor is compared, and matched, to spectral data of known absorption features. While spatial resolution depends on the altitude of the aircraft and usually ranges between 1 and 20 m, the spectral bands measured and the bandwidths used are all programmable to meet user specifications and requirements.

See NOAA's summary table at summary view of airborne hyperspectral imaging survey technique (171 KB PDF).

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CRC Brochure

Established capabilities of remote sensing (1.7 MB PDF).

Coastal and near shore environments have been the focus of remote sensing activities for more than 25 years. The following list of environmental characteristics are regularly monitored using various forms of remote sensing:

  • land cover and land use in coastal areas
  • extent and composition of wetland (mangrove and saltmarsh)
  • vegetation density and biomass
Water Surface
  • roughness of sea surface
  • extent and type of an algal bloom
  • extent of an oil spill
Water Column
  • extent of dissolved and particulate (organic matter)
  • extent of suspended sediments (inorganic matter)
  • extent of algal pigments (providing biomass and algal concentration)
  • transparency and vertical attenuation of light
  • bathymetry and seabed relief
Underwater Substrate
  • type of substrate (such as sand, mud, seagrass, macroalgae and coral)
  • condition and abundance of seagrass
  • condition of coral

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