Abstract

We show that surface spectral reflectance can be separated from illumination effects in visible through near-infrared (350 nm–1740 nm) hyperspectral data by using only the information in a single radiance spectrum. The separation method exploits the fact that reflectance and illumination spectra typically lie in distinct subspaces. We present a comparison of a linear and a nonlinear algorithm for the separation. These algorithms compute an estimate of the spectral reflectance up to a scaling factor. In addition, we present an iterative method that is used to determine the starting point for the nonlinear algorithm. We also develop a method for selecting the dimension of the reflectance and illumination subspaces that is appropriate for material identification applications. The accuracy of the separation methods is quantified by application to noisy visible through near-infrared spectral data with a database of 107 materials and 3000 illumination spectra. The utility of the separation method for material identification is demonstrated with the same database. The results show that accurate reflectance recovery and material identification is possible by use of visible through near-infrared spectral data over the outdoor environmental conditions represented in this data set.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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