A wide variety of hyper-spectral (HS) sensors and collection platforms are in existence. This paper investigates hyper-spectral imaging systems (HIS) worldwide in order to address issues associated with the better both airborne and space based systems are included in the review. Examples of the sensors include ENVISAT, SCIAMACHY, TERRA, AQUA, MOPITT, MIPAS, AVIRIS, LIDAR, Landsat 7 and others. Applications include geo-environmental studies, aerosol release, materials identification, agricultural studies, atmospheric studies, and many others. Two case studies are presented that address the evaluation of African smog and its effect on the African ecosystem and the evaluation of aerosol pollution in the northeastern region of the United states with particular attention to particulate matter.