About Hyper-Spectral Imaging

About Hyper-Spectral Imaging


• Hyper-Spectral Imaging is a combination of spectroscopy and digital imaging.
• The sensors or cameras, mounted on UAVs, will take images in two wavelengths of the electro-magnetic spectrum, namely ‘visible light’ and ‘infrared’.
• The images so takes will be run through ‘deep learning’ algorithms to process them into usable data.
• The data so processed is then communicated to the IAF Air Warfare Strategy Cell.

Principle of Spectroscopy and Digital Imaging

• When an electromagnetic wave shines on the surfaceof an object, some wavelengths are absorbed whileothers are reflected.
• ExampleThe colour of plant leaf is green because it absorbs red and violet light but reflects green lightwhich what we see as colour green.
• Similarly all objects absorb and reflect certain wavelengths of electromagnetic spectrum unique to that object. Thus every object has its own ‘spectral signature’.
• The sensors or cameras which are sensitive to a particular wavelength (say visible light, UV light, Infrared etc) capture the image in that wavelength.
• This ‘image’ captured in ‘visible light’ or ‘infrared’ is super-imposed and converted to usable data.


  • Military Applications: Hyper-spectral imaging is a new-gen aerial surveillance strategy with the following capabilities:
    • It can perform surveillance in areas under dense treecover along the international borders. (Due to infrared sensors)
    • Multi-sensor imaging helps to track adversary movement in day and night conditions.
    • It works effectively in all-weather conditions, be it cloud cover, dense fog or snow cover.
  • Civilian Applications
  • Crop monitoring
  • Drought monitoring
  • Mapping soil moisture
  • Mineral Prospecting etc

Note: Similar project HySIS

• In November 2018, ISRO launched HySIS advanced earth observation satellite. Click here for details.
Section : Science & Tech