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Sensors 2008, 8(10), 6235-6259; doi:10.3390/s8106235

APEX - the Hyperspectral ESA Airborne Prism Experiment

1, 1,*, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 and 2
1 Remote Sensing Laboratories, University of Zurich – Irchel ,Winterhurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland 2 VITO – Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Boeretang, 200 B-2400 Mol, Belgium
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 April 2008 / Revised: 10 September 2008 / Accepted: 23 September 2008 / Published: 1 October 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Switzerland)
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The airborne ESA-APEX (Airborne Prism Experiment) hyperspectral mission simulator is described with its distinct specifications to provide high quality remote sensing data. The concept of an automatic calibration, performed in the Calibration Home Base (CHB) by using the Control Test Master (CTM), the In-Flight Calibration facility (IFC), quality flagging (QF) and specific processing in a dedicated Processing and Archiving Facility (PAF), and vicarious calibration experiments are presented. A preview on major applications and the corresponding development efforts to provide scientific data products up to level 2/3 to the user is presented for limnology, vegetation, aerosols, general classification routines and rapid mapping tasks. BRDF (Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function) issues are discussed and the spectral database SPECCHIO (Spectral Input/Output) introduced. The optical performance as well as the dedicated software utilities make APEX a state-of-the-art hyperspectral sensor, capable of (a) satisfying the needs of several research communities and (b) helping the understanding of the Earth’s complex mechanisms.
Keywords: Hyperspectral; pushbroom; imaging spectrometer Hyperspectral; pushbroom; imaging spectrometer
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Itten, K.I.; Dell’Endice, F.; Hueni, A.; Kneubühler, M.; Schläpfer, D.; Odermatt, D.; Seidel, F.; Huber, S.; Schopfer, J.; Kellenberger, T.; Bühler, Y.; D’Odorico, P.; Nieke, J.; Alberti, E.; Meuleman, K. APEX - the Hyperspectral ESA Airborne Prism Experiment. Sensors 2008, 8, 6235-6259.

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