Hyperspectral imaging has demonstrated impressive capabilities in airborne surveys, particularly for mineral and biomass characterizations. Based on this success, it is believed that other applications like search and rescue operations, and detection/identification of various ground military targets could greatly benefit from this technology. The strength of hyperspectral imaging comes from the access to another dimension of information: the spectral content of the detected return signal for each spatial pixel. In the case of conventional hyperspectral imaging, the return signal depicts the spectral reflectance of the day irradiance from the scene within the field of view of each pixel. However, by inserting a range-gated intensifier into a hyperspectral camera and by combining the camera with selected pulsed lasers, it becomes possible to relate the returned spectral information to specific light/matter interactions like induced fluorescence. This new technique may be referred to as 'active hyperspectral imaging.' Among its advantages, this approach is independent of the ambient lighting conditions and can be customized in excitation wavelengths. Moreover, by using a range-gated intensified camera, it is possible to survey limited area with a significant increase in signal-to-noise ratio. A camera of this type has been built by our group in collaboration with private industry and is described in this paper. The internal design of the camera is discussed, new issues concerning the calibration of the camera are depicted and a model based on signal-to-noise ratio analysis is presented. From the fluorescent characteristics of surrogate land mines measured in the laboratory, this model is used to predict the capabilities of detecting surface-laid mines from an aerial platform based scenario.