VITO launches a hyperspectral camera comprising image processing and mapping software. VITO is a leading European independent research and technology organization, headquartered in Belgium. Their imaging solution can be used for agriculture monitoring, increasing production yields and reducing operational costs. VITO now wishes to transfer its technology to an end-to-end or a standalone solution.
The VITO hyperspectral camera can be mounted on a variety of small remotely piloted aircraft (on both rotary or fixed wings) and monitors hundreds of hectare in a single flight. The imaging processing software transforms raw data into spectral image products for fast and reliable processing. Additionally, the image mapping software is able to tailor action and information maps to application specific needs. The camera and imaging software are now available as an end-to-end solution or as standalone components.
Potential applications include precision farming (early detection of plant disease, growth and health monitoring, yield prediction, etc.), forest management and environmental monitoring, security and surveillance.
These hyperspectral camera images, which can record several spectral bands, are a significant asset when monitoring agricultural crops. Every pixel of the hyperspectral image contains information from both visible and infrared light. As such, many aspects of vegetation can be monitored far more precisely and far sooner than before: the health of plants and their stress level, a lack or surplus of fertilisation, diseases, and so on.
VITO had been conducting flight campaigns for years with sensitive, but bulky hyperspectral cameras attached to the underside of manned camera planes. In comparison, compact drones of the octocopter type are a lot cheaper and more efficient. A drone is more versatile and is able to register plenty of added details from a low height. VITO then built a compact and light hyperspectral camera improved with a smart chip and filter developed by IMEC, the Flemish research center for nano-electronics. IMEC’s hyperspectral line-scan imager has 100 static spectral filter structures, which allows for more accurate images and can detect more variations in comparison to the more common 4 and 5 band cameras on the market.