Many within the environmental research community and across crop science are now using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as their primary airborne platform. They are more affordable than fixed-wing aircraft and easy to launch. They are also beginning to understand and embrace hyperspectral imaging as a useful tool for environmental applications. Pairing the two, however, is not without its challenges but integrated solutions that include the UAV, the sensor, and all other hardware and software elements needed to assure error-free airborne performance in environmental as well as other applications.
One reason that this community is embracing hyperspectral imaging is that the sensors are more affordable than ever. Originally conceived as multi-million-dollar intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms for defense applications, hyperspectral imagers have been successfully commercialized over the past few years. Scientists typically embracing RGB or multi-spectral technology before can now acquire hyperspectral sensors at affordable price points.