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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Multispectral imaging system on tethered balloons for optical remote sensing education and outreach
Author(s): Joseph A. Shaw; Paul W. Nugent; Nathan Kaufman; Nathan J. Pust; Devin Mikes; Cassie Knierim; Nathan Faulconer; Randal Larimer; Angela DesJardins; Berk Knighton

Paper Abstract

A set of low-cost, compact multispectral imaging systems have been developed for deployment on tethered balloons for education and outreach based on basic principles of optical remote sensing. The imagers use tiny CMOS cameras with low-cost optical filters to obtain images in red and near-infrared bands, and a more recent version include a blue band. The red and near-infrared bands are used primarily for identifying and monitoring vegetation through the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), while the blue band is used for studying water turbidity, identifying water and ice, and so forth. The imagers are designed to be carried by tethered balloons at altitudes up to approximately 50 m. Engineering and physics students at Montana State University-Bozeman gained hands-on experience during the early stages of designing and building the imagers, and a wide variety of university and college students are using the imagers for a broad range of applications to learn about multispectral imaging, remote sensing, and applications typically involving some aspect of environmental science.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 October 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8481, Optics Education and Outreach II, 84810T (15 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.932236
Show Author Affiliations
Joseph A. Shaw, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Paul W. Nugent, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Nathan Kaufman, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Nathan J. Pust, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Devin Mikes, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Cassie Knierim, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Nathan Faulconer, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Randal Larimer, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Angela DesJardins, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Berk Knighton, Montana State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8481:
Optics Education and Outreach II
G. Groot Gregory, Editor(s)

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