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Potential of hyperspectral imaging to detect and identify the impact of chemical warfare compounds on plant tissue

  • Autor/in: Kuska, M. T., J. Behmann, A.-K. Mahlein
  • Jahr: 2018
  • Zeitschrift: Pure Appl. Chem. 90 (10)
  • Seite/n: 1615–1624
  • Stichworte: Chemical Weapons Convention 2017; optical sensors; public security; spectral reflectance; stress detection.


The OPCW Member states cover 98 % of the global population and landmass. Regrettably, unanticipated chemical warfare agent assaults are reported during the last decades. In addition to the fre- quent threat situation, the sampling of bio-medical samples from these areas is critical and mainly depends on investigation opportunities of victims. Non-contact sensor technologies are desirable to enable a fast and secure estimation of a situation. Plants react on pollution because of their direct interaction with gases and it is assumed that chemical warfare agents influence plants, respectively. This impact can be analyzed for the detection and characterization of chemical warfare assaults. Nowadays technological progress in digital technologies provides new innovations in detectors, data analysis approaches and software availability which could improve the screening, monitoring and analysis of chemical warfare. Within this context hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is a promising method. Different applications from remote to close range sensing in medicine, food production, military, geography and agriculture do exist already. During the last years HSI showed high potential to determine and assess different plant parameters, e.g. abiotic and biotic stresses by recording the spectral reflectance of plants. Within the present manuscript, the basics principle of HSI as an innovative technique, aspects of recording and analyzing HSI data is presented using wild growing apple leaves which are treated with sulfuric acid, fire or heat. Resulting spectral signatures showed significant changes among the treatments. Especially the shortwave infrared was sensitive to changes due to the different treatments. Furthermore, the calculation of common spectral indices revealed differences due to the treatments which are not visible to the human eye. The results support HSI applications for the detection of chemical warfare agents and elucidate the impact of chemical warfare on plants.
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