Emerging applications in Defense and Security require sensors with state-of-the-art sensitivity and capabilities. Among
these sensors, the imaging spectrometer is an instrument yielding a large amount of rich information about the measured
scene. Standoff detection, identification and quantification of chemicals in the gaseous state is one important
application. Analysis of the surface emissivity as a means to classify ground properties and usage is another one.
Imaging spectrometers have unmatched capabilities to meet the requirements of these applications.
Telops has developed the FIRST, a LWIR hyperspectral imager. The FIRST is based on the Fourier Transform
technology yielding high spectral resolution and enabling high accuracy radiometric calibration. The FIRST, a man
portable sensor, provides datacubes of up to 320×256 pixels at 0.35mrad spatial resolution over the 8-12 μm spectral
range at spectral resolutions of up to 0.25cm-1. The FIRST has been used in several field campaigns, including the
demonstration of standoff chemical agent detection [http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.788027.1]. More recently, an airborne
system integrating the FIRST has been developed to provide airborne hyperspectral measurement capabilities. The
airborne system and its capabilities are presented in this paper.
The FIRST sensor modularity enables operation in various configurations such as tripod-mounted and airborne. In the
airborne configuration, the FIRST can be operated in push-broom mode, or in staring mode with image motion
compensation. This paper focuses on the airborne operation of the FIRST sensor.