Fraunhofer develops real-time software for hyperspectral data analyses

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A new hyperspectral software package that can record vast amounts of hyperspectral data on a mobile platform and analyse it in real time has been developed by the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB).

The SpectralFinder software application generates a 130-channel image of a surface based on the various colour spectra that the camera records. Recording hyperspectral data has been traditionally slow, because of the large volumes of data accumulated from the analyses.

Algorithms within the software display regions containing similar spectral information in the live images. This is accomplished when the software compares the 130 colour values within the image area with the remaining image pixels; it then displays those surfaces which have the best corresponding colour values.

‘It also operates when the camera or the object is moving. The materials can even be classified while data is still being collected,’ said Caroline Stolka, a research group staff member.

The system consists of a hyperspectral camera connected to a computer with SpectralFinder installed. The technology is currently available as a prototype and researchers have successfully tested potential application scenarios in the laboratory. The scientists have programmed the software in such a manner that the recorded colour spectra can also be compared with an attached materials database.

‘This manner of detecting and classifying materials on a mobile basis provides a great benefit to the various fields – take environmental monitoring, for example, on the ground and from the air,’ said Dr Wolfgang Middelmann, who heads the corresponding Image Interpretation Research Group at IOSB.

The system can work with pictures taken from the air. This technology could help keep landscapes clean by quickly exposing pollution, by delivering important information about health conditions or pest infestation to land and forest management authorities, or by supporting water pollution control and identifying at-risk areas when dikes or levees are at peril of collapse.

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