Hyperspectral Imaging System for Remote Sensing Curriculum and Undergraduate Research




Education, College of


Hindle, Tucker

Budget Manager:

Laliberte, Rick

Project Manager:

Hindle, Tobin K

Proposal Approvers

Dept. Chair:

Herbst, Joel D.

Local IT:



Silverman, Stephen




Bagdonas, Joseph A.

Proposal Funding

Year 1:

$ 25,829.00

Year 2:

$ 0.00

Year 3:

$ 0.00


$ 25,829.00

Proposal Funding versus Average


As a collaboration between FAU High School, Dept. of Geosciences, and Dept. of Civil, Environmental & Geomatics Engineering – the funds will acquire a hyperspectral imaging system to modernize remote sensing curriculum, generate faculty-mentored undergraduate research opportunities, and expand the Owls Imaging Lab. This sensor technology will enable students to tackle local issues by detecting and monitoring harmful algal blooms (HABs), Everglades vegetation health, and ocean microplastics through field data collection and AI-based image analysis guided by experts across 3 colleges. Last year, 283 students enrolled in FAUHS Research Program courses with 57 engaged in intensive research projects. Introduction to Research (EDF 2910), Multidisciplinary Research Methods 1, 2, and 3 (EDF 2911, EDF 3912, and EDF 3913), and EDF 4932 guide students through a successful undergraduate research experience as they work with FAU faculty mentors in any discipline. The Owls Imaging Lab will expand to include areas beyond bioimaging, specifically water quality, to align with FAU’s Pillar of Ocean Science and Engineering/Environmental Sciences. The Dept. of Geosciences’ courses: Remote Sensing of the Environment (GIS 4035C/GIS 5038C), Digital Image Analysis (GIS 4037C/GIS 5033C), and Hyperspectral Remote Sensing (GIS 6127) will benefit 175 students annually by processing large image datasets collected locally. This partnership will recruit and retain top STEM talent for the Geosciences and Geomatics Engineering Programs. The Pika L hyperspectral imager collects data at 300 different wavelengths in the visible and near infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for the same spatial extent, as compared to only 3 in the visible range for a traditional camera. These precise spectral measurements help to differentiate similarly colored objects in the environment such as algae species or healthy/stressed vegetation. These capabilities are currently not available on the Boca campus.
Hardware Requirements
All one-time hardware costs are included in the funds requested. The hyperspectral imager is mounted on a terrestrial scanning system that rotates during data acquisition to capture the scene of interest, which is controlled from a rugged field workstation. Additionally, radiometric calibration data and targets in the scene must be used to convert raw data into to radiance and reflectance.
Software Requirements
A perpetual license of the required Spectronon software is included in the funds requested. This controls the hyperspectral imaging system during data acquisition and streamlines workflows for data processing, analysis, and visualization. Its image analysis suite implements machine learning (regression and classification) algorithms and commonly used vegetation indices for environmental applications.
Personnel Costs
Other Costs
This system will be ordered upon announcement of the awarded funds. The lead time is 8 weeks, after which it will be used immediately on arrival to engage all currently interested students in hands-on trainings for instrument set-up, calibration, and data collection. For the life of this system, it will continue to be integrated in remote sensing curriculum for enriched course content and high quality lab experiences. Additionally, numerous faculty-mentored undergraduate research projects are planned to make use of the system and its collected image datasets in the coming years.
The proposed Pika L Hyperspectral Imaging System is a turnkey solution ready for immediate use, including all hardware and software necessary to acquire and analyze hyperspectral data. The perpetual license of Spectronon software will ensure continued use for acquisition and analysis; in addition, data can be exported to standard formats compatible with nearly all image processing and analysis software. The imager is interchangeable between all Resonon systems, including an airborne system for georegistered data and the benchtop system for analytical chemistry in a laboratory. Given advances in technology over time, the outlook for this system is 5–10 years with a high potential to upgrade, extending its life at FAU.
Resource Matching
The facilities for this equipment will initially be the Owls Imaging Laboratory in HS-26F, Room 108. Upon completion of a new research building under construction on the Boca campus, the equipment will be housed in the Ocean Science/Water Quality Lab Space. Image processing and analysis workshops utilizing the collected datasets will be offered on-site in the high performance computing lab planned for construction. The Dept. of Geosciences currently has licenses for two remote sensing softwares, L3Harris Geospatial ENVI and Hexagon ERDAS IMAGINE, to provide alternatives. Dr. Hongbo Su is assembling a drone platform for the Geomatics Engineering Program, which will support an airborne system using the interchangeable Pika L hyperspectral camera to extend its capabilities.
Implementing Organization
No additional costs are anticipated. Tucker Hindle will train all interested faculty and students on instrument set-up, calibration, data collection, and maintenance in the Owls Imaging Laboratory. He will then expand educational programming and coordinate faculty-mentored undergraduate research opportunities through the FAU High School Research Program and interested Departments. Dr. Tobin Hindle in the Department of Geosciences will facilitate integration of the imaging system into their remote sensing curriculum. Dr. Hongbo Su will oversee implementation in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatics Engineering to continue an existing partnership for creating authentic undergraduate research experiences in courses, ultimately recruiting and retaining top talent for their programs.

Proposal Budget

Fiscal Year 1 Fiscal Year 2 Fiscal Year 3 Total
Hardware One-Time $ 25,828.59 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 25,828.59
Hardware Recurring $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Software One-time $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Software Recurring $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Personnel One-time $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Personnel Recurring $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Other One-time $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Other Recurring $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Totals $ 25,829.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 25,829.00

Supporting Documentation

Filename Size Description
Dell Precision 3650 Workstation.pdf 152,018b
Resonon Pika L Hyperspectral System.pdf 59,169b