The Israel Air Force (IAF) is currently examining hyper-spectral camera technology, which could allow unmanned aircraft systems to collect a wide variety of information, some invisible to the human eye.
Experiments are currently underway, in order to examine if the system is suitable for use within the IAF. If confirmed, the cameras will be integrated into the UAS Squadrons, following training that will be conducted by professional engineers.
Military leaders hope that the camera will assist in uncovering underground bunkers camouflaged with vegetation. “Once a suspicious target, such as a chemical, has been detected, the camera’s system will alert the operator,” said Lt. Col. Yoav, chief of the Intelligence Department of the IAF’s Equipment Squadron.
Hyper-spectral imaging technology can distinguish between wavelengths outside of the visible spectrum. In the civilian realm, it has been used to identify harmful pests from above.
“The camera’s functionality is based on the wavelengths that emanate from certain natural substances that aren’t visible to the human eye. Each substance produces a different wave, and the camera is able to distinguish between the various waves,” explained Lt. Col. Yoav. As a result, the camera could differentiate between a natural bush and a bush that produces irregular waves.