A new ‘eye in the sky’ is revealing hidden features on Earth

- Ottawa, Ontario

NRC-developed hyperspectral imaging technology monitors invasive species, pipelines and more.

Hyperspectral imaging technology developed at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is using infrared light to map properties invisible to the human eye. Developed in partnership with McGill University, the UAV-μCASI system attaches to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to perform low-altitude monitoring.

Its thermal sensing capabilities have been used to identify hot spots that can lead to forest fires. It provides detailed enough information on plant characteristics to enable it to map rare and threatened species, and to detect invasive species.

It also has commercial applications. The UAV-μCASI system has been used to monitor pipeline seepage, which saves companies money, and mitigates environmental damage.

The Applied Remote Sensing Lab's collaboration with NRC's hyperspectral group has unlocked new possibilities in environmental applications and become leaders in drone-based research.

Dr. Margaret Kalacska, McGill University

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