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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Mid-infrared Digital Electronic Camera System for Assessing Natural Resources

Authors
item Fletcher, Reginald
item Bartells, David - USDA-APHIS-EDINBURG, TX

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing (JARS)
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 25, 2007
Publication Date: October 15, 2007
Citation: Fletcher, R.S., Bartels, D.W. 2007. A mid-infrared digital electronic camera system for assessing natural resources. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing. 1:013542.

Interpretive Summary: Water strongly absorbs mid-infrared light (not detected by the human eye), resulting in this region of the light spectrum being sensitive to the water content within features. For this study, researchers assembled an electronic digital camera system sensitive to mid-infrared light and showed practical applications of the system for assessing natural resources. The system consists of a mid-infrared light sensitive digital camera connected to a computer. Using imagery acquired with the camera system, the researchers were able to differentiate succulent from nonsucculent plant parts, to identify management practices such as irrigation, and to delineate vegetation, soil, and water. Findings indicate that an electronic digital camera sensitive to mid-infrared light has high potential for assessing natural resources.

Technical Abstract: Water strongly absorbs mid-infrared (1300-2500 nm) radiation, resulting in this region of the spectrum being sensitive to the water content within features. Little information is available on using an electronic digital camera filtered to this region of the spectrum to assess natural resources. The objectives of this study were to assemble an electronic digital camera system obtaining mid-infrared imagery and to show practical applications of the system for assessing natural resources. The system consists of a near-infrared to mid-infrared light sensitive camera (900-1700 nm) containing a 640 by 512 area array charged coupled device with 14-bit radiometric resolution, a computer, an image acquisition card, a camera-link cable, a keyboard, a color monitor, a camera tripod, a generator, a camera mount, and a mid-infrared narrow bandpass filter (1632-1648 nm). The components of the system allow users to obtain ground or airborne imagery. Ground-based imagery and data were useful for separating succulent from nonsucculent plant parts. Airborne imagery provided useful information for differentiating vegetation, soil, and water and for identifying management practices such as irrigation. Findings of this study indicate that an electronic digital camera filtered to the mid-infrared region of the optical spectrum has high potential for assessing natural resources.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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