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Open AccessArticle

Direct Reflectance Measurements from Drones: Sensor Absolute Radiometric Calibration and System Tests for Forest Reflectance Characterization

1
Finnish Geospatial Research Institute FGI, National Land Survey of Finland, Geodeetinrinne 2, 02430 Masala, Finland
2
National Physical Laboratory NPL, Teddington TW11-0LW, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1417; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051417
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 1 May 2018 / Published: 3 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors, Control, and Telemetry)
Drone-based remote sensing has evolved rapidly in recent years. Miniaturized hyperspectral imaging sensors are becoming more common as they provide more abundant information of the object compared to traditional cameras. Reflectance is a physically defined object property and therefore often preferred output of the remote sensing data capture to be used in the further processes. Absolute calibration of the sensor provides a possibility for physical modelling of the imaging process and enables efficient procedures for reflectance correction. Our objective is to develop a method for direct reflectance measurements for drone-based remote sensing. It is based on an imaging spectrometer and irradiance spectrometer. This approach is highly attractive for many practical applications as it does not require in situ reflectance panels for converting the sensor radiance to ground reflectance factors. We performed SI-traceable spectral and radiance calibration of a tuneable Fabry-Pérot Interferometer -based (FPI) hyperspectral camera at the National Physical Laboratory NPL (Teddington, UK). The camera represents novel technology by collecting 2D format hyperspectral image cubes using time sequential spectral scanning principle. The radiance accuracy of different channels varied between ±4% when evaluated using independent test data, and linearity of the camera response was on average 0.9994. The spectral response calibration showed side peaks on several channels that were due to the multiple orders of interference of the FPI. The drone-based direct reflectance measurement system showed promising results with imagery collected over Wytham Forest (Oxford, UK). View Full-Text
Keywords: radiometric calibration; spectral calibration; imaging spectrometer; radiance; reflectance; drone; UAV; hyperspectral radiometric calibration; spectral calibration; imaging spectrometer; radiance; reflectance; drone; UAV; hyperspectral
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hakala, T.; Markelin, L.; Honkavaara, E.; Scott, B.; Theocharous, T.; Nevalainen, O.; Näsi, R.; Suomalainen, J.; Viljanen, N.; Greenwell, C.; Fox, N. Direct Reflectance Measurements from Drones: Sensor Absolute Radiometric Calibration and System Tests for Forest Reflectance Characterization. Sensors 2018, 18, 1417.

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