North-Central Section - 50th Annual Meeting - 2016

Paper No. 8-2
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


SPROWLES, Kimberly, FITZGERALD, Justin, TRENT, Rachel, KELLER, Andrew and KREKELER, Mark P.S., Department of Geology & Environmental Earth Science, Miami University - Hamilton, 1601 University Blvd., Hamilton, OH 45011,

Thousands of people go missing in the United States alone every year. While most reports are resolved owing to location of the individual by law enforcement, return of the individual by their own free will, or due to an invalid record - many cases remain open and unsolved. Many of the people who go and remain missing each year are hikers or outdoorsmen. It is common for hikers to get lost from their trail due to inclement weather or misdirection, or stranded do to injury. Rescue services must be sent out in search; oftentimes facing time as a factor. The prevailing method of search consists of a rescue team making a physical walking sweep from the lost person’s last known location (or in the general vicinity of said location); this process can prove difficult if the person has been missing for several days, if there is harsh weather or heavy ground cover. Hyperspectral remote sensing (HRS) may be an effective tool to search for missing persons in outdoor environments. Here, aircraft with HRS sensors can potentially image large areas and enable identification of potential rescue targets. A critical step in developing such technology is investigating the hyperspectral signature of clothing and geomaterials likely to be associated with clothing. This investigation is a preliminary study to assess if reflected spectra (350 nm- 2500 nm) of common clothing items is distinct from common geologic substrates. An ASD spectroradiometer was used to measure over 100 clothing articles and numerous substrates. Combinations of clothing articles and substrates such as Ottawa sand and well characterized soils were measured. While certain challenges exist, initial results suggest that a library for clothing and outdoor environments is feasible. This investigation is the first detailed assessment in an ongoing research and development project.