Traditional airborne environmental monitoring has frequently deployed hyperspectral imaging as a leading tool for
characterizing and analyzing a scene’s critical spectrum-based signatures for applications in agriculture genomics and
crop health, vegetation and mineral monitoring, and hazardous material detection. As the acceptance of hyperspectral
evaluation grows in the airborne community, there has been a dramatic trend in moving the technology from use on midsize
aircraft to Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The use of UAS accomplishes a number of goals including the
reduction in cost to run multiple seasonal evaluations over smaller but highly valuable land-areas, the ability to use
frequent data collections to make rapid decisions on land management, and the improvement of spatial resolution by
flying at lower altitudes (< 150 m).
Despite this trend, there are several key parameters affecting the use of traditional hyperspectral instruments in UAS
with payloads less than 0.5 kg (~1lb) where size, weight and power (SWaP) are critical to how high and how far a given
UAS can fly. Additionally, on many of the light-weight UAS, users are frequently trying to capture data from one or
more instruments to augment the hyperspectral data collection, thus reducing the amount of SWaP available to the
The following manuscript will provide an analysis on a newly-developed miniaturized hyperspectral imaging platform
that provides full hyperspectral resolution and traditional hyperspectral capabilities without sacrificing performance to
accommodate the decreasing SWaP of smaller and smaller UAS platforms.