Airborne longwave infrared (LWIR) hyperspectral imagery was utilized to detect and identify gaseous chemical release plumes at sites in southern Texas. The Airborne Hyperspectral Imager (AHI), developed by the University of Hawai’i, was flown over a petrochemical facility and a confined animal feeding operation on a modified DC-3 during April, 2004. Data collected by the AHI system was successfully used to detect and identify numerous plumes at both sites. Preliminary results indicate the presence of benzene and ammonia and several other organic compounds. Emissions were identified using regression analysis on atmospherically compensated data. Data validation was conducted using facility emission inventories. This technology has great promise for monitoring and inventorying facility emissions, and may be used as means to assist ground inspection teams to focus on actual fugitive emission points.
The clear waters of Lake Superior constitute the heart of one of the most significant fresh water ecosystems in the world. Lake Superior is the world's largest lake by surface area (82,100 km2) holding approximately 10% of the earth's freshwater (12,230 km3) that is not locked into glaciers or ice caps. Although Superior is arguably the most significant fresh water ecosystem on earth, questions relating to the lake and its watershed remain unanswered, including the effects of human habitation, exploitation, and economic potential of the region. There is a great diversity of scientific disciplines with a common interest in remote sensing of the Lake Superior ecosystem which have the need for data at all spatial, spectral, and temporal scales-from scales supplied by satellites, ships or aircraft at low spatial, spectral or temporal resolution, to a requirement for synoptic high resolution spatial (approximately 1 meter)/spectral (1 - 10 nm) data. During May and August of 1998, two week-long data collection campaigns were performed using the Kestrel airborne visible hyperspectral imager to acquire hyperspectral data of a broad taxonomy of ecologically significant targets, including forests, urban areas, lakeshore zones and rivers, mining industry tailing basins, and the Lake itself. We will describe the Kestrel airborne hyperspectral sensor, the collection and data reduction methodology, and flight imagery from both campaigns.