Gas Plume Quantification in Downlooking Hyperspectral Longwave Infrared Images


  1. Turcotte, C.S.
  2. Davenport, M.R.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN);Salience Analytics Inc. Vancouver, BC. (CAN)
Algorithms have been developed to support quantitative analysis of a gas plume using down-looking airborne hyperspectral long-wave infrared (LWIR) imagery. The resulting gas quantification “GQ” tool estimates the quantity of one or more gases at each pixel, and estimates uncertainty based on factors such as atmospheric transmittance, background clutter, and plume temperature contrast. GQ uses gas-insensitive segmentation algorithms to classify the background very precisely so that it can infer gas quantities from the differences between plume-bearing pixels and similar non-plume pixels. It also includes MODTRAN-based algorithms to iteratively assess various profiles of air temperature, water vapour, and ozone, and select the one that implies smooth emissivity curves for the (unknown) materials on the ground. GQ then uses a generalized least-squares (GLS) algorithm to simultaneously estimate the most likely mixture of background (terrain) material and foreground plume gases. Cross-linking of plume temperature to the estimated gas quantity is very non-linear, so the GLS solution was iteratively assessed over a range of plume temperatures to find the best fit to the observed spectrum. Quantification errors due to local variations in the camera-to-pixel distance were suppressed using a subspace projection operator. Lacking detailed depth-maps for real plumes, the GQ algorithm was tested on synthetic scenes generated by the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Image Generation (
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-SL-2010-255 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Sep 2010
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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