Since 1995 DLR has been calibrating and operating its own airborne imaging spectrometers and is developing software tools for data processing and analysis for different application fields. The user service for airborne hyperspectral campaigns, the Optical Airborne Remote Sensing and Calibration Facility (OpAiRS), obtained ISO 9001:2000 certification in November 2007. The team’s expertise is revealed in the annual HyEurope campaigns as well as its participation in the European Union FP7 project EUFAR (European Facility for Airborne Research).
Another key focus of the Applied Spectroscopy team is on the application-driven modelling and definition of new sensors, including the development of airborne spectrometers and the Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program EnMAP, all in close cooperation with the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam GFZ.
In application development, the interest is in mineral and energy resources and in land and soil degradation processes. Ongoing cooperative projects in these areas include the BMBF funded Coal Fire Research project “Chico” to investigate, monitor and extinguish coal fires in Northern China, and the EU FP7 funded “EO Miners” project, which concentrates on using earth observation to achieve the sustainable exploitation of mineral resources.
To support these applications and prepare for the EnMAP mission, the development of methodologies is also emphasized. The best-known example is certainly the ATCOR atmospheric correction package. Based on experience with the DLR automated pre-processing chain for airborne hyperspectral data, algorithms are being developed for the following pursuits:
- Material identification and mapping,
- Quantification of biochemical processes occurring in the atmosphere, the solid earth and water bodies,
- Operational quality control of hyperspectral data.