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.

Publication Date



"Megacollect 2004: hyperspectral collection experiment of terrestrial targets and backgrounds of the RIT Megascene and surrounding area (Rochester, New York)," Proceedings of SPIE, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XI, vol. 5806. The International Society of Optical Engineers. Held in Orlando, Florida: April 2005. This paper is made available as an electronic reprint with permission of SPIE. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited. The authors would like to thank Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, Mike Spang of the Irondequoit Town Parks and Recreation, and Ray Nary of Camp Eastman for giving permission to image Camp Eastman and accommodating access to the grounds for deployment of equipment and personnel; Cindy Scigaj for planning and coordinating the deployment of several of the experiments; Carolyn Kennedy and Rulon Simmons of ITT for their technical and personnel support; RIT ROTC for help in deploying the concealed targets; Paul Lee, Emmett Ientilucci, Niek Sanders, Tim Hattenberger, and Scott Brown for their DIRSIG simulations; the flight crews of the COMPASS and SEBASS sensors; Landcare Aviation for RIT flight support; Tim Gallagher and Jason Faulring for operating the MISI and WASP sensors, respectively.ISSN:0277-786X Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus