14 May 2018 Using unmanned aerial systems to collect hyperspectral imagery and digital elevation models at a legacy underground nuclear explosion test site
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Hyperspectral and multispectral imagers have been developed and deployed on satellite and manned aerial platforms for decades and have been used to produce spectrally resolved reflectance and other radiometric products. Similarly, light detection and ranging, or LIDAR, systems are regularly deployed from manned aerial platforms to produce a variety of products, including digital elevation models. While both types of systems have demonstrated impressive capabilities from these conventional platforms, for some applications it is desirable to have higher spatial resolution and more deployment flexibility than satellite or manned aerial platforms can offer. Commercially available unmanned aerial systems, or UAS, have recently emerged as an alternative platform for deploying optical imaging and detection systems, including spectral imagers and high resolution cameras. By enabling deployments in rugged terrain, collections at low altitudes, and flight durations of several hours, UAS offer the opportunity to obtain high spatial resolution products over multiple square kilometers in remote locations. Taking advantage of this emerging capability, our team recently deployed a commercial UAS to collect hyperspectral imagery, RGB imagery, and photogrammetry products at a legacy underground nuclear explosion test site and its surrounds. Ground based point spectrometer data collected over the same area serves as ground truth for the airborne results. The collected data is being used to map the site and evaluate the utility of optical remote sensing techniques for measuring signatures of interest, such as the mineralogy, anthropogenic objects, and vegetative health. This work will overview our test campaign, our results to date, and our plans for future work.
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Dylan Anderson, Dylan Anderson, Julia M. Craven, Julia M. Craven, Robert Dzur, Robert Dzur, Trevor Briggs, Trevor Briggs, Dennis J. Lee, Dennis J. Lee, Elizabeth Miller, Elizabeth Miller, Emily Schultz-Fellenz, Emily Schultz-Fellenz, Steven Vigil, Steven Vigil, "Using unmanned aerial systems to collect hyperspectral imagery and digital elevation models at a legacy underground nuclear explosion test site", Proc. SPIE 10656, Image Sensing Technologies: Materials, Devices, Systems, and Applications V, 1065605 (14 May 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2304860; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2304860

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