SWIR - Short-wave Infrared

SWIR - Short-wave Infrared

SWIR – Short-wave Infrared

Over the past few years the term SWIR (short-wave infrared) has been popping up again and again in the geospatial world. So, what exactly is SWIR and what can you do with it or better yet what SWIR can do for you. Once again, eMap is here to save you the trouble of trying to figure it out through hundreds of internet searches and all of those technical papers you will undoubtedly encounter.

DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 sensor is engineered to collect SWIR, or short-wave infrared. It is, simply put, a new set of 8 imaging bands that have been added during the collection of high resolution satellite imagery to enhance the ability to view certain wavelengths of the infrared spectrum. This new technology is used to identify and characterize natural and man-made materials, identify and map minerals, and penetrate haze, fog, smog, dust and smoke in the atmosphere, which all leads to a clearer, more defined image.

Great, now you know what SWIR is, but what can it be used for? A major advantage to the availability of obtaining and using the SWIR data is that features captured in imagery using SWIR bands are more readily identified, leading to analysis that has not been possible in the past. Also, with a few changes in the bands being viewed, certain features of an image will stand out making them easier to detect – such as a mineral vein. When viewing a coastline, many times a shadow can look very similar to water – this is now a thing of the past. One of the biggest advancements may be the ability to view the Earth through smoke and dust particles, which would create a much clearer image when dealing with natural disasters like wildfires or earthquakes.

Since its launch in late 2014, WorldView-3 has dramatically enhanced the collection and processing of high resolution satellite imagery available to the commercial sector. As a proud partner with DigitalGlobe, eMap is always available to help you learn more about fascinating new developments in imaging technology and deliver the best possible dataset for your next project. Contact the eMap team to get more information on your location and find the imagery that can best work for you.