CIE Seminar Series – 2019: Drone-based hyperspectral remote sensing to monitor marine and coastal ecosystems

SPEAKER: Dr Jonathan Kok, Research Scientist, Technology Development Engineering, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), QLD

DATE: Friday, 6th September 2019

TIME: 1:30pm

LOCATION: Warrnambool Campus – Room B3.03

Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds – Room ka4.207 and Melbourne Campus at Burwood – The Burwood Corporate Centre


Hyperspectral remote sensing is a unique image acquisition method for studying light response properties of different materials. Materials could be anything such as corals, seagrass, water, coral cores, rocks, leaf, pineapple, etc. The data generated is a 2D image of a scene with each pixel containing its corresponding reflected spectral property, essentially a multi-dimensional dataset.

Unlike conventional cameras that capture only three channels of colour information (namely, red, green and blue), hyperspectral imaging captures hundreds of channels of colour information which allows for a continuous band of spectral information to be measured across every pixel in the scene. This unique spectral profile is known as the material’s spectral signature. The materials spectral signature are like fingerprints, allowing us to study, classify and monitor materials through non-destructive means.

Coupled with drone capabilities (on demand use, medium range, customisable missions, etc), the information-rich spectra provide usefulness in a range of marine science applications, such as pre-bleaching indicators, coral reef health/diversity maps, water quality, change detection, seagrass monitoring, coastal monitoring, etc.


Dr Jon Kok is a Research Scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) within the Technology Development Engineering team. He is currently developing and demonstrating the use of hyperspectral technology for a range of marine and coastal science applications, such as seagrass monitoring, water quality, shallow coral reef mapping, bleaching/stress studies, fluorescence properties of coral skeleton cores and corals, etc.

Other than hyperspectral technology, Jon is also familiar with autonomous systems in aerial drones, optimisation problems and algorithms (genetic algorithm, MOEA, etc), multi-objective optimisation problems and algorithms, artificial intelligence/machine learning, 3D printing, automated image processing methods, and snowboarding.

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