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Airborne hyperspectral data have been available to researchers since the early 1980s and their use for geologic applications is well documented. The launch of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Earth Observing 1 Hyperion sensor in November 2000 marked the establishment of a test bed for spaceborne hyperspectral capabilities. Hyperion covers the 0.4-2.5-μm range with 242 spectral bands at approximately 10-nm spectral resolution and 30-m spatial resolution. Analytical Imaging and Geophysics LLC and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation have been involved in efforts to evaluate, validate, and demonstrate Hyperions's utility for geologic mapping in a variety of sites in the United States and around the world. Initial results over several sites with established ground truth and years of airborne hyperspectral data show that Hyperion data from the shortwave infrared spectrometer can be used to produce useful geologic (mineralogic) information. Minerals mapped include carbonates, chlorite, epidote, kaolinite, alunite, buddingtonite, muscovite, hydrothermal silica, and zeolite. Hyperion data collected under optimum conditions (summer season, bright targets, well-exposed geology) indicate that Hyperion data meet prelaunch specifications and allow subtle distinctions such as determining the difference between calcite and dolomite and mapping solid solution differences in micas caused by substitution in octahedral molecular sites. Comparison of airborne hyperspectral data [from the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS)] to the Hyperion data establishes that Hyperion provides similar basic mineralogic information, with the principal limitation being limited mapping of fine spectral detail under less-than-optimum acquisition conditions (winter season, dark targets) based on lower signal-to-noise ratios. Case histories demonstrate the analysis methodologies and level of information available from the Hyperion data. They also show the viability of Hyperion as a means of extending hyperspectral mineral mapping to areas not accessible to aircraft sensors. The analysis results demonstrate that spaceborne hyperspectral sensors can produce useful mineralogic information, but also indicate that SNR improvements a- re required for future spaceborne sensors to allow the same level of mapping that is currently possible from airborne sensors such as AVIRIS.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:41 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: June 2003