This paper describes a collaborative collection campaign to spectrally image and measure a well characterized scene for hyperspectral algorithm development and validation/verification of scene simulation models (DIRSIG). The RIT Megascene, located in the northeast corner of Monroe County near Rochester, New York, has been modeled and characterized under the DIRSIG environment and has been simulated for various hyperspectral and multispectral systems (e.g., HYDICE, LANDSAT, etc.). Until recently, most of the electro-optical imagery of this area has been limited to very high altitude airborne or orbital platforms with low spatial resolutions. Megacollect 2004 addresses this shortcoming by bringing together, in June of 2004, a suite of airborne sensors to image this area in the VNIR, SWIR, MWIR, and LWIR regions. These include the COMPASS (hyperspectral VNIR,SWIR), SEBASS (hyperspectral LWIR), WASP (broadband VIS, SWIR, MWIR, LWIR) and MISI (hyperspectral VNIR, broadband SWIR, MWIR, LWIR). In conjunction with the airborne collections, an extensive ground truth measurement campaign was conducted to characterize atmospheric parameters, select targets, and backgrounds in the field. Laboratory measurements were also made on samples to confirm the field measurements. These spectral measurements spanned the visible and thermal region from 0.4 to 20 microns. These measurements will help identify imaging factors that affect algorithm robustness and areas of improvement in the physical modeling of scene/sensor phenomena. Reflectance panels have also been deployed as control targets to both quantify sensor characteristics and atmospheric effects. A subset of these targets have also been deployed as an independent test suite for target detection algorithms. Details of the planning, coordination, protocols, and execution of the campaign will be discussed with particular emphasis on the ground measurements. The system used to collect the metadata of ground truth measurements and disseminate this data will be described. Lastly, lessons learned in the field will be underscored to highlight additional measurements and changes in protocol to improve future collections of this area.

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Copyright 2005 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

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Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus