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Advanced hyperspectral imagers to aid vegetation research

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The German research centre Forschungszentrum Jülich is developing a new generation of hyperspectral imagers to monitor plant ecosystems as part of a project with Specim – Spectral Imaging Ltd, a manufacturer of hyperspectral imaging products and solutions.

The first target of the HyPlant project is to develop a new-generation push-broom hyperspectral imager capable of collecting VNIR and SWIR data from 380 to 2,500nm in a single, compact instrument. The instrument's small size and light weight will enable its use as a field instrument, and its installation in various robotic systems as well as in small aircraft. Secondly, the project aims at developing a specific, high performance hyperspectral imager for monitoring sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence emitted by vegetation.

Forschungszentrum Jülich will exploit the new hyperspectral imagers in their large-scale research projects, which investigate the role of terrestrial vegetation in the global carbon cycle. Dr Uwe Rascher from Forschungszentrum Jülich commented on the possibilities the sensors will bring for research: 'Sensors developed in the HyPlant project will allow novel insight into the functional properties of plants and plant ecosystems by exploiting the fluorescence signal as an innovative remote sensing signal.'

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