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In this paper, a kernel-based nonlinear version of the orthogonal subspace projection (OSP) operator is defined in terms of kernel functions. Input data are implicitly mapped into a high-dimensional kernel feature space by a nonlinear mapping, which is associated with a kernel function. The OSP expression is then derived in the feature space, which is kernelized in terms of the kernel functions in order to avoid explicit computation in the high-dimensional feature space. The resulting kernelized OSP algorithm is equivalent to a nonlinear OSP in the original input space. Experimental results are presented for detection of roads, roof tops, mines, and targets in hyperspectral imagery, and it is shown that the kernelized OSP method outperforms the conventional OSP approach.