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7 May 2007 Real-time airborne hyperspectral imaging of land mines
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DRDC Suffeld and Itres Research have jointly investigated the use of visible and infrared hyperspectral imaging (HSI) for surface and buried land mine detection since 1989. These studies have demonstrated reliable passive HSI detection of surface-laid mines, based on their reflectance spectra, from airborne and ground-based platforms. Commercial HSI instruments collect and store image data at aircraft speeds, but the data are analysed off- line. This is useful for humanitarian demining, but unacceptable for military countermine operations. We have developed a hardware and software system with algorithms that can process the raw hyperspectral data in real time to detect mines. The custom algorithms perform radiometric correction of the raw data, then classify pixels of the corrected data, referencing a spectral signature library. The classification results are stored and displayed in real time, that is, within a few frame times of the data acquisition. Such real-time mine detection was demonstrated for the first time from a slowly moving land vehicle in March 2000. This paper describes an improved system which can achieve real-time detection of mines from an airborne platform, with its commensurately higher data rates. The system is presently compatible with the Itres family of visible/near infrared, short wave infrared and thermal infrared pushbroom hyperspectral imagers and its broadband thermal infrared pushbroom imager. Experiments to detect mines from an airborne platform in real time were conducted at DRDC Suffield in November 2006. Surface-laid land mines were detected in real time from a slowly moving helicopter with generally good detection rates and low false alarm rates. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first time that land mines have been detected from an airborne platform in real time using hyperspectral imaging.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Tyler Ivanco, Steve Achal, John E. McFee, Cliff Anger, and Jane Young "Real-time airborne hyperspectral imaging of land mines", Proc. SPIE 6553, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets XII, 655315 (7 May 2007);

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