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Chen, XX, Vierling, L (2006). Spectral mixture analyses of hyperspectral data acquired using a tethered balloon. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 103(3), 338-350.

Tethered balloon remote sensing platforms can be used to study radiometric issues in terrestrial ecosystems by effectively bridging the spatial gap between measurements made on the ground and those acquired via airplane or satellite. In this study, the Short Wave Aerostat-Mounted Imager (SWAMI) tethered balloon-mounted platform was utilized to evaluate linear and nonlinear spectral mixture analysis (SMA) for a grassland-conifer forest ecotone during the summer of 2003. Hyperspectral measurement of a 74-m diameter ground instantaneous field of view (GIFOV) attained by the SWAMI was studied. Hyperspectral spectra of four common endmembers, bare soil, grass, tree, and shadow, were collected in situ, and images captured via video camera were interpreted into accurate areal ground cover fractions for evaluating the mixture models. The comparison between the SWAMI spectrum and the spectrum derived by combining in situ spectral data with video-derived areal fractions indicated that nonlinear effects occurred in the near infrared (NIR) region, while nonlinear influences were minimal in the visible region. The evaluation of hyperspectral and multispectral mixture models indicated that nonlinear mixture model-derived areal fractions were sensitive to the model input data, while the linear mixture model performed more stably. Areal fractions of bare soil were overestimated in all models due to the increased radiance of bare soil resulting from side scattering of NIR radiation by adjacent grass and trees. Unmixing errors occurred mainly due to multiple scattering as well as close endmember spectral correlation. In addition, though an apparent endmember assemblage could be derived using linear approaches to yield low residual error, the tree and shade endmember fractions calculated using this technique were erroneous and therefore separate treatment of endmembers subject to high amounts of multiple scattering (i.e. shadows and trees) must be done with caution. Including the short wave infrared (SWIR) region in the hyperspectral and multispectral endmember data significantly reduced the Pearson correlation coefficient values among endmember spectra. Therefore, combination of visible, NIR, and SWIR information is likely to further improve the utility of SMA in understanding ecosystem structure and function and may help narrow uncertainties when utilizing remotely sensed data to extrapolate trace glas flux measurements from the canopy scale to the landscape scale. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



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