Initial work has begun on a long-term study of the application of spectroradiometric techniques to spectral discrimination of oak wilt disease in Quercus woodlands of central Texas. In situ hyperspectral data of the leaf, branch, and canopy level of the most commonly affected species will be collected, processed, and analyzed for discriminatory signatures of the disease in various stages of disease pathology. A controlled inoculation experiment will be conducted to provide the baseline spectral response in the absence of potentially disease-masking environmental factors such as drought, and other pathogens. Data obtained from the inoculation experiment and from the field will lead to the development of classification methods that can be applied to hyperspectral imagery that will be obtained over the study area in a scheduled acquisition from the Hyperion satellite. The ultimate goal of this research is to determine the feasibility of early disease detection through the application of hyperspectral technology.

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