Hyperspectral ground mapping is being used in an ever-increasing extent for numerous applications in the military,
geology and environmental fields. The different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum help produce information of
differing nature. The visible, near-infrared and short-wave infrared radiation (400 nm to 2.5 μm) has been mostly used to
analyze reflected solar light, while the mid-wave (3 to 5 μm) and long-wave (8 to 12 μm or thermal) infrared senses the
self-emission of molecules directly, enabling the acquisition of data during night time.
Push-broom dispersive sensors have been typically used for airborne hyperspectral mapping. However, extending the
spectral range towards the mid-wave and long-wave infrared brings performance limitations due to the self emission of
the sensor itself. The Fourier-transform spectrometer technology has been extensively used in the infrared spectral range
due to its high transmittance as well as throughput and multiplex advantages, thereby reducing the sensor self-emission
Telops has developed the Hyper-Cam, a rugged and compact infrared hyperspectral imager. The Hyper-Cam is based on
the Fourier-transform technology yielding high spectral resolution and enabling high accuracy radiometric calibration. It
provides passive signature measurement capability, with up to 320x256 pixels at spectral resolutions of up to 0.25 cm-1.
The Hyper-Cam has been used on the ground in several field campaigns, including the demonstration of standoff
chemical agent detection. More recently, the Hyper-Cam has been integrated into an airplane to provide airborne
measurement capabilities. A special pointing module was designed to compensate for airplane attitude and forward
motion. To our knowledge, the Hyper-Cam is the first commercial airborne hyperspectral imaging sensor based on
Fourier-transform infrared technology. The first airborne measurements and some preliminary performance criteria for
the Hyper-Cam are presented in this paper.