Hyperspectral imagery has the capability of capturing spectral features of interest that can be used to differentiate among similar materials. While hyperspectral imaging has been demonstrated to provide data that enable classification of relatively broad categories, there remain open questions as to how fine of discrimination is possible. An application of this fine discrimination question is the potential that spectral features exist in the surface reflectance of ordinary civilian vehicles that would enable tracking of a particular vehicle across repeated hyperspectral images in a cluttered urban area. To begin to explore this question a vehicle tracking experiment was conducted in the summer of 2005 on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus in Rochester, New York. Several volunteer vehicles were moved around campus at specific times coordinated with over flights of RIT’s airborne Modular Imaging Spectrometer Instrument (MISI). MISI collected sequential images of the campus in 70 spectral channels from 0.4 to 1.0 microns with a ground resolution of approximately 2.5 meters. Ground truth spectra and photographs were collected for the vehicles. These data are being analyzed to determine the ability to uniquely associate a vehicle in one image with its location in a subsequent image. Initial results have demonstrated that the spectral measurement of a specific vehicle can be used to find the same vehicle in a subsequent image, although this is not always possible and is very dependent upon the specifics of the situation. Additionally, efforts are presented that explore predicted performance for variations in scene and sensor parameters through an analytical performance prediction model.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Proceedings of Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XII 6233 (2006) "Vehicle tracking with multi-temporal hyperspectral imagery," Defense and Security Symposium. International Society of Optical Engineers. Held at Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center: Orlando, Florida: 17-21 April 2006. Acknowledgment is made to the numerous additional RIT students and staff who contributed significantly to the experiment and data collection process. This material is based on research sponsored by AFRL/SNAT under agreement number FA8650-04-1-1717 (BAA 04- 03-SNK Amendment 3). The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of AFRL/SNAT or the U.S. Government.Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus