Hyperspectral Imaging from an Airplane

Introduction to Hyper-Cam

The Hyper-Cam from Telops is a hyperspectral imaging camera (Figure 1). It facilitates generating hyperspectral maps of an area monitored from an airplane when installed on Telops’ airborne platform. This article presents the key technical specifications, features and benefits, and applications of the Hyper-Cam.

Figure 1. The Telops Hyper-Cam airborne platform

Technical Specifications

The following table summarizes the imaging characteristics, physical characteristics and electrical power of the Hyper-Cam:

Parameter Description Units Value
Spectral range Midwave (MWIR) and longwave (LWIR) μm 3-5 and 8-12
Geolocation accuracy @1000 m altitude with internal GPS m 5 (2*)
Ground pixel size @1000 m Standard (6.4° x 5.1°)
Using the 0.25x telescope (25° x 20°)
Aircraft speed Typical cruising speed kn 110
Aircraft altitude from sea level Maximum operating altitude using unpressurized aircraft m 3000

*High accuracy option

Parameter Description Units Value
Mass - Airborne sensing module Airborne sensing module mass, excluding Hyper-Cam sensor kg 77
Dimensions - Airborne sensing module Airborne sensing module dimensions (length x width x height) mm x mm x mm (in x in x in) 953 x 584 x 470 (37.5 x 23 x 18.5)
Airborne sensing module footprint Compatibility with existing aircraft aperture & fixation characteristics of analog airborne visible camera - Leica PAV Series
Mass-Electronic equipment rack Electronic equipment rack mass, including all rack mounted components kg 68
Dimensions -Equipment rack Electronic equipment rack dimensions (width x depth x height) mm x mm x mm (in x in x in) 591 x 566 x 613 (23.2 x 22.3 x 24.2
Operating Temperature Range Operating temperature range °C 0 - 40
Parameter Description Units Value

Input voltage Range of input voltages, available from the aircraft under which the Hyper-Cam airborne system can operate V 21 - 31 VDC
Steady-state power consumption Typical Airborne module steady-state power consumption, including Hyper-Cam sensor W 680
Peak power consumption Airborne module peak power consumption, including Hyper-Cam sensor W 740

Key Features and Benefits

The high sensitivity and outstanding signal-to-noise ratio of the Hyper-Cam enable detecting weak signals. The spectral resolution of the Hyper- Cam is flexible, thus allowing users to select any value up to 1cm-1 and thereby yielding tens to hundreds of spectral bands. Mapping and targeting are the two acquisition modes. The Hyper-Cam can be used for both ground and airborne applications. Besides yielding georeferenced data, it acquires visible images concurrently with IR hyperspectral data. The Hyper-Cam is compatible with longwave (8-12µm) and midwave (3-5µm) Hyper-Cam sensors.


The Hyper-Cam is used in the following applications:

  • Agriculture and Vegetation Surveys – The Hyper-Cam can easily perform soil and vegetation characterization on large areas.
  • Environmental Monitoring – Airborne hyperspectral data facilitate simultaneous detection and determination of multiple substances. The Hyper-Cam Airborne is an important instrument for environmental monitoring applications, detecting pipeline leaks and analyzing substances in urban pollution.
  • Geology, Mining and Oil and Gas Exploration – A Hyper-Cam Airborne can be used for mine face imaging to map the mineral content of a mine face and determine mineral concentrations and streaks (Figure 2). Airborne detection of natural gas leaks allows for exploration of vast areas.

Figure 2. Identification of minerals based on their spectral features

  • Target Detection, Identification and Surveillance – The Hyper-Cam Airborne is suitable for target interrogation, surveillance (Figure 3), or wide area mapping, thanks to its improved sensitivity and resolution.

Figure 3. Surveillance of urban areas

About Telops

Telops Inc., located in Quebec City, is a leading supplier of hyperspectral imaging systems and high performance infrared cameras for the defence, industrial, environmental and research industries. Telops also offers R&D services for optical systems technology development in order to respond to the specific needs of its customers.

Since its beginnings in 2000, Telops has distinguished itself with the quality of its technical personnel and its innovative approach to many technological challenges in the optics field. Today, the expertise of Telops scientists, engineers and technologists in optical technology, and the performance of its infrared cameras and hyperspectral imagers are recognized internationally.

While being headquartered in Canada, Telops caters to an international market using an efficient network of distribution and representation.

Whether you are looking for equipment, expertise or subcontracting for your optical system projects, Telops will turn your high expectations into success.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Telops.

For more information on this source, please visit Telops.


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