Asian giants China is preparing to launch the world’s most powerful hyperspectral imaging satellite.
Electro-optical devices like cameras and infrared sensors generally observe only one band in the electromagnetic spectrum, i.e. cameras observe the band visible to human eyesight and infrared cameras view the infrared band. But hyperspectral cameras and sensors, on the other hand, can simultaneously view hundreds of electromagnetic bands for a single image, building a layered ‘cube’ of the image in different electromagnetic wavelengths.
The use of such a wide range of wavelengths provides the ability to observe objects which conceal their emissions in one part of the spectrum (i.e. stealth aircraft and thermally suppressed engines) or are hidden (such as underground bunkers).