Imaging Spectrometry for Earth Remote Sensing

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Science  07 Jun 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4704, pp. 1147-1153
DOI: 10.1126/science.228.4704.1147


Imaging spectrometry, a new technique for the remote sensing of the earth, is now technically feasible from aircraft and spacecraft. The initial results show that remote, direct identification of surface materials on a picture-element basis can be accomplished by proper sampling of absorption features in the reflectance spectrum. The airborne and spaceborne sensors are capable of acquiring images simultaneously in 100 to 200 contiguous spectral bands. The ability to acquire laboratory-like spectra remotely is a major advance in remote sensing capability. Concomitant advances in computer technology for the reduction and storage of such potentially massive data sets are at hand, and new analytic techniques are being developed to extract the full information content of the data. The emphasis on the deterministic approach to multispectral data analysis as opposed to the statistical approaches used in the past should stimulate the development of new digital image-processing methodologies.