Development of a portable surface reflectance measurement system using a portable optical spectrometer and associated optical components


Supervisory Chair

External Member

Dale Hughes


Remote sensing systems rely on the measurement of surface optical reflectance to estimate various environmental and physiological parameters. In this project you will have an opportunity to continue the hardware and software development, testing and documentation of a portable instrument system to measure accurate surface reflectance of environments of interest e.g. grassland and forests. The sensing system uses a number of optical fibres, a fibre-optic switch, a portable spectrometer and a computer. The device will be used in conjunction with other optical remote sensing system deployed at the National Arboretum Canberra and/or other sites across the ACT. You will learn about optical sensors, programming in LabVIEW and interpretation of optical spectra. We can tailor the project to match your skills and interests, and we're open to developing these ideas further including using a Raspberry Pi computer to replace a conventional laptop PC.



  • Further develop an existing sensor system to make an easy to use portable surface reflectance measurement system.
  • Documentation of testing, calibration and usage of the above system.
  • Comparison of surface reflectance measured with the system to reflectance acquired at the site using other instrument systems or satellite sensors.
  • Optionally; further development of the system to use cheaper and lighter computer devices.



  • Basic electronic skills and use of hand tools.
  • Basic knowledge of optical fibres and spectrometry.
  • Basic programming fundamentals.
  • Basic statistics knowledge.



  • Use and calibration of optical fibres, optical switches and spectrometers.
  • Programming in LabVIEW.
  • Design of robust instrumentation for field use
  • Fieldwork

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing