Our Malvern Panalytical ASD customers are true adventurers and discoverers out in the field utilizing ASD spectrometers and spectroradiometers for a multitude of different application uses. The quest to collect the most accurate data can lead to innovative and creative “solutions” involving the pairing of materials and technologies alongside of an ASD instrument in order to create a data collection solution that is capable of achieving results.

The EcoSpec project at Argonne National Laboratory is one such example of this.

Components of the autonomous high temporal frequency hyperspectral reflectance collection—EcoSpec system (collecting white reference data before every data collection from the land surface, at each position around the tower, so that hyperspectral data is accurately converted to reflectance values). 

The EcoSpec System

The EcoSpec system, as shown in the image above, was created by a team of remote sensing scientists, ecologists, electrical and mechanical engineers, and computer scientists at Argonne National Laboratory for the purpose of tracking interactions between plants and their surroundings. The project measures agricultural crops such as soybean, corn and alfalfa to investigate how the plants respond and contribute to local land surface processes. The goal is to better understand climate change by observing what is happening today on a local-scale phenomenon to facilitate more accurate forecasting and improved future climate models to relate to larger-scale phenomena.

Led by Dr. Yuki Hamada, principal investigator and biophysical remote sensing scientist in Argonne National Laboratory’s Ecological Science & Environmental Risk Department, her team has effectively constructed an optical tower “Ecospec system” to collect high temporal frequency hyperspectral reflectance measurements of land surfaces. The system pairs an ASD FieldSpec® 4 Standard-Res spectroradiometer (350 – 2500nm) with multiple sensors that measure hyperspectral reflectance, sky and land-surface temperatures, and total incoming radiation and light components (direct versus diffused) to provide data that is indicative of plant chemical and physical properties and visual/contextual information. The tower is self-sufficient, operating on solar power, rotating 340° every 10 minutes and collecting white reference data before each pre-defined ground area measurement (to lessen the variability of atmospheric and solar conditions). The collected data is then used to develop a model for determining photosynthesis by integrating the effects of temporally varying factors (such as shadow) limiting photosynthesis and respiration of plants.

Read more about it!

Related content:

Learn more about the science, data, and analytics of this creative project as written up in Issue 3/2018 (Pages 6-7) of our Malvern Panalytical customer magazine, XPress, and/or also via our recently published article, “Model Behaviour,” in the Nov/Dec 2018 (Volume 17; Issue 8) of Geo: GeoConnexion International Magazine.