COMPACT HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGING SYSTEM (COSI) FOR SMALL REMOTELY PILOTED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (RPAS) – SYSTEM OVERVIEW AND FIRST PERFORMANCE EVALUATION RESULTS
Keywords: Hyperspectral camera, RPAS, linear variable filters
Abstract. This paper gives an overview of the new COmpact hyperSpectral Imaging (COSI) system recently developed at the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO, Belgium) and suitable for remotely piloted aircraft systems. A hyperspectral dataset captured from a multirotor platform over a strawberry field is presented and explored in order to assess spectral bands co-registration quality. Thanks to application of line based interference filters deposited directly on the detector wafer the COSI camera is compact and lightweight (total mass of 500g), and captures 72 narrow (FWHM: 5nm to 10 nm) bands in the spectral range of 600-900 nm. Covering the region of red edge (680 nm to 730 nm) allows for deriving plant chlorophyll content, biomass and hydric status indicators, making the camera suitable for agriculture purposes. Additionally to the orthorectified hypercube digital terrain model can be derived enabling various analyses requiring object height, e.g. plant height in vegetation growth monitoring. Geometric data quality assessment proves that the COSI camera and the dedicated data processing chain are capable to deliver very high resolution data (centimetre level) where spectral information can be correctly derived. Obtained results are comparable or better than results reported in similar studies for an alternative system based on the Fabry–Pérot interferometer.