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Hyperspectral remote sensing applications

Optical remote sensing analyzes varying electromagnetic radiation (spectral properties) in the visible - near infrared, shortwave infrared and thermal infrared spectral region (from 0.4 to 14 microns), reflected from different targets on the Earth's surface. Hyperspectral remote sensing, also known as imaging spectroscopy, is based on the analysis and evaluation of the reflected (also emitted) radiation detected by a high number of narrow, contiguous and continuous spectral bands. The detailed spectral characterization of surface absorption features provided by imaging spectrometers enables to use robust inversion algorithms for the retrieval of bio- and geochemical information over the imaged area.

Research in this topic is mainly focused on developing new and automatic methods for hyperspectral imagery analyses, including spectral modeling, extraction of detailed surface information and determination of Earth surface compositional information for geosciences and environmental applications. Based on our expertise we provide recommendations for the development of future earth missions (EnMAP,CHIME).

Calibration and validation of the algorithms developed is supported by extensive field campaigns to acquire ground-truth data at all scales of applications. We work at variable spatial scales of observation, from the laboratory scale (<cm) to field measurements (~10cm-10m), to landscape scales with sensors mounted on variable airborne platforms (drones, UAVs, planes), up to regional scale for mapping and monitoring approaches based on satellite imagery. Present activities focus in test sites in North-Eastern and Southern Europe, Mediterranean areas, Southern Africa, Brazil, Australia, and China for the following application fields:

  • Geological exploration from near to far, detection and mapping of minerals, rare earths and base metals, mapping and monitoring of mining sites
    Projects: EnGeoMap LIGHTS REMONREEMAP 
  • Soil characterisation and observation, digital soil mapping, quantitative soil spectroscopy quantitative determination of soil parameters (including organic carbon, soil moisture, grain size, iron oxides, carbonates, gypsum): sustainable management of renewable resources, soil erosion and land degradation mapping, soil contamination
  • Projects: EnSoMAP/HYSOMA BopaBW MASOMEDHyPhy SEDMEDHY, EUFAR,GeoArchives DeSurvey
  • Monitoring of dry areas for water management and early detection of ecosystem changes
    Projects: SaWaM  SERES
  • Influence of heat waves on soil and vegetation based on thermal hyperspectral remote sensing
    Projects: MOSES
  • characterization and monitoring of polar vegetation
    Projects: iCUPE BIOSPARC 
  • Geologic interpretation of Remote Sensing data, active deformation of the Earth surface, tectonic geomorphology, orogenic processes
    projects: VAMP, ALERT
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