Hyperspectral Lidar: A Progress Report

Sanna Kaasalainen and Tuomo Malkamäki

Laser-scanning instruments that allow hyperspectral and spatial data to be collected in a single shot could improve remote sensing in a wide range of applications.

figureLidar encompassing several spectral bands is useful in remote-sensing applications such as seafloor bathymetry. [Adapted from Getty Images]

Hyperspectral imaging—in which each imaging pixel captures the full spectrum of the reflected light at that point—has gained momentum in recent decades, as both broadband light generation and light-sensing components have taken significant leaps forward. Hyperspectral cameras have existed now for over a decade; more recent technical development has led to miniaturized, MEMS-driven sensors for use in smartphones, drones, and CubeSats. These and other developments have opened up a treasure trove of possibilities in remote sensing and measurement, both on Earth and in space, ranging from monitoring forest and vegetation conditions to AI-assisted face recognition.

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