A system to take high-resolution Visible/Near Infra-Red (VIS/NIR) hyperspectral reflectance and fluorescence images in outdoor fields using ambient lighting or a pulsed laser (355 nm), respectively, for illumination purposes was designed, built, and tested. Components of the system include a semi-autonomous cart, a gated-intensified camera, a spectral adapter, a frequency-triple Nd:YAG (Neodymium-doped Yttrium Aluminium Garnet) laser, and optics to convert the Gaussian laser beam into a line-illumination source. The front wheels of the cart are independently powered by stepper motors that support stepping or continuous motion. When stepping, a spreadsheet is used to program parameters of image sets to be acquired at each step. For example, the spreadsheet can be used to set delays before the start of image acquisitions, acquisition times, and laser attenuation. One possible use of this functionality would be to establish acquisition parameters to facilitate the measurement of fluorescence decay-curve characteristics. The laser and camera are mounted on an aluminum plate that allows the optics to be calibrated in a laboratory setting and then moved to the cart. The system was validated by acquiring images of fluorescence responses of spinach leaves and dairy manure.
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