European Facility For Airborne Research

European Facility For Airborne Research May 26, 2022, 00:42


Agriculture-Health-SPECTrometry (AHSPECT) Research Campaign

The AHSPECT initiative is aimed at collecting hyperspectral airborne measurements over agro-forestry areas of southwestern France for assessing the agricultural health, physiology and satellite products validation. The project is supported by EUFAR’s transnational access programme, which facilitates and funds access to the NERC ARSF aircraft - Dornier DO228, mounted with the hyperspectral camera FENIX for visible and infrared range and the hyperspectral camera OWL for thermal infrared. A LIDAR instrument is also set up on board the aircraft. Spatial resolutions for sensors vary between 0.4 and 1.5 m, owing to low altitude flight (~1.2 km).

The first phase of the campaign took place on 23 June during which several ground-based stations maintained by CESBIO, METEO-FRANCE (SMOSMANIA) and INRA, located between Toulouse and Atlantic ocean, were overflown. High temperature and clear sky conditions were encountered during the 4-hour flight around midday. Cover types sampled concern maize and wheat crops, orchard trees, forested areas and various other crops. AHSPECT will serve to measure, at a landscape scale, some pigment pools like xanthophyll and anthocyanin that are central for detecting abiotic stress factors in combining a modelling approach and ground truth. During the flight, ground teams from Météo-France, CESBIO and EOLAB (Spain) worked on characterising the vegetation by measuring chlorophyll, PAR, leaf area index (LAI), clumping and also crop and soil temperature. The georeferenced and radiometric calibrated images from the three instruments should be available after three months. A second campaign will take place around mid-September. It will be focused on forests impacted by climate change and also vineyards. It will also contribute to the cal/val programme of Sentinel-2. For more information, contact the lead scientist


Images captured using the imaging spectrometer FENIX onboard NERC ARSF aircraft (Dornier DO228), AHSPECT TA campaign, June 2015.

Originally published on Sept. 2, 2015
Last update on Sept. 13, 2016

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