THE GEOSPECTRAL CAMERA: A COMPACT AND GEOMETRICALLY PRECISE HYPERSPECTRAL AND HIGH SPATIAL RESOLUTION IMAGER
Small unmanned aerial vehicles are increasingly being employed for environmental monitoring at local scale, which drives the demand for compact and lightweight spectral imagers. This paper describes the geospectral camera, which is a novel compact imager concept. The camera is built around an innovative detector which has two sensor elements on a single chip and therefore offers the functionality of two cameras within the volume of a single one. The two sensor elements allow the camera to derive both spectral information as well as geometric information (high spatial resolution imagery and a digital surface model) of the scene of interest. A first geospectral camera prototype has been developed. It uses a linear variable optical filter which is installed in front of one of the two sensors of the MEDUSA CMOS imager chip. A accompanying software approach has been developed which exploits the simultaneous information of the two sensors in order to extract an accurate spectral image product. This method has been functionally demonstrated by applying it on image data acquired during an airborne acquisition.