Classifying crop types using two generations of hyperspectral sensors (Hyperion and DESIS) with machine learning on the cloud

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Advances in spaceborne hyperspectral (HS) remote sensing, cloud-computing, and machine learning can help measure, model, map and monitor agricultural crops to address global food and water security issues, such as by providing accurate estimates of crop area and yield to model agricultural productivity. Leveraging these advances, we used the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) Hyperion historical archive and the new generation DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS) data to evaluate the performance of hyperspectral narrowbands in classifying major agricultural crops of the US with machine learning (ML) on Google Earth Engine (GEE). EO-1 Hyperion images from the 2010–2013 growing seasons and DESIS images from the 2019 growing season were used to classify three world crops (corn, soybean, and winter wheat) along with other crops and non-crops near Ponca City, Oklahoma, USA. The supervised classification algorithms: Random Forest (RF), Support Vector Machine (SVM), and Naive Bayes (NB), and the unsupervised clustering algorithm WekaXMeans (WXM) were run using selected optimal Hyperion and DESIS HS narrow-bands (HNBs). RF and SVM returned the highest overall producer’s, and user’s accuracies, with the performances of NB and WXM being substantially lower. The best accuracies were achieved with two or three images throughout the growing season, especially a combination of an earlier month (June or July) and a later month (August or September). The narrow 2.55 nm bandwidth of DESIS pro-vided numerous spectral features along the 400–1000 nm spectral range relative to smoother Hyperion spectral signatures with 10 nm bandwidth in the 400–2500 nm spectral range. Out of 235 DESIS HNBs, 29 were deemed optimal for agricultural study. Advances in ML and cloud-compu-ting can greatly facilitate HS data analysis, especially as more HS datasets, tools, and algorithms become available on the Cloud.




Aneece, I., & Thenkabail, P. S. (2021). Classifying crop types using two generations of hyperspectral sensors (Hyperion and DESIS) with machine learning on the cloud. Remote Sensing, 13(22).

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