Multispectral imaging involves image capture and vision streaming in multiple spectral bands. Often, these spectral bands exceed the limits of visible light, including the infrared and ultraviolet ranges, allowing us to see more than is possible with a standard vision system operating in the range of light visible to the human eye.
In the past, multispectral imaging was only used for expensive, highly unique applications, but today it has become a mainstream imaging application that has completely transformed a number of outdoor applications.
Multispectral Imaging Applications
Vision systems face several obstacles when operating outdoors – lighting, visibility and a dynamic environment all make imaging more difficult. Despite these obstacles, multispectral imaging has found use in a number of ways for outdoor applications.
Agriculture is one of the primary users of multispectral vision systems. These vision systems are often attached to a drone for the monitoring of crop fields. For example, a multispectral vision system can allow for the development of a normalized difference vegetation index (NVDI). The NVDI allows farmers to remotely monitor photosynthetic activity levels and address any potential issues with their crops.
Outside of agriculture, multispectral imaging is also used in environmental management for things such as vegetation delineation, water quality monitoring, and change detection. In the event of a chemical spill, for example, a multispectral imaging system can help in the containment and remediation planning by monitoring the area around the spill.
Multispectral vision systems are also used in satellites for earth observation, primarily for tracking the progress of large-scale manmade or natural disasters. In this scenario, they provide critical information for rescue teams and safety planning.
Multispectral imaging is used in a number of ways in outdoor applications, but their use in agriculture, environmental management, and earth observation are some of the most common.
While it was once a rare type of imaging, multispectral vision systems have become a commonplace solution for outdoor applications and have transformed the capabilities of vision systems in these environments.
For more information about multispectral vision systems, browse Phase 1 Technology’s inventory of machine vision cameras from the world’s leading manufacturers.