Beyond the Visible – Introduction to Hyperspectral Remote Sensing

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Welcome to the Online Course

Beyond the Visible – Introduction to Hyperspectral Remote Sensing.

In this course, you will learn the basics of imaging spectroscopy. No matter if you are a student or a professional or whatever continent you are from, this course was designed for you and we hope to provide some helpful background information, process understanding and applications that relate to your area of interest or expertise.

What will you learn?

This course will provide you, not only with the fundamentals of imaging spectroscopy but also gives you access to free data sources, open-source software and hands-on training exercises.

By the end of this course, you should have learned …

  • what imaging spectroscopy is
  • what application fields it is useful for
  • what the physical background is
  • which sensors are commonly used
  • how spectroscopy data are acquired
  • where you can get data from
  • what software you could use
  • and finally first processing steps to analyze them

The rising number of imaging spectrometers deployed on airborne platforms and the launch of space-borne imaging spectroscopy missions are accompanied by an increasing need for education and training activities with a focus on hyperspectral imagery – with the data becoming more and more available, you need to know how to best use it and benefit from its great potential. Learn from a variety of experts and adopt the knowledge to your personal research interest(s). This course, which will teach all the basics of imaging spectroscopy, comprises three major lessons. Check out the table of content below. If you prefer, you can use the offline version of this course in PDF format. You can find the file under the tab ‘Materials’. To complete the course and get the certificate, however, you still need to answer the quizzes in the online version of the course. For the best learning experience, we recommend to participate using Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox on a desktop PC or laptop.

Introduce yourself

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Course specifications


Choose your own learning pace. The entire course is designed to take you about 5 to 8 hours, depending on your existing knowledge.

Theoretical foundation and practical applications

In ‘Beyond the Visible – Introduction to Hyperspectral Remote Sensing’ you will first learn the (theoretical) principles of imaging spectroscopy, followed by principles of sensor technologies and data acquisition techniques – despite the theoretical nature, these lessons are presented with plenty of opportunities for activity and interaction. In the final lesson, you will finally get to know data sources and software, design your own workflow and get a chance to participate in expert-led hands-on training exercises.


We do assume that you have a basic understanding of remote sensing techniques and radiation transfer in order to really enjoy this course – to make sure we are on the same page, we’ve created a short quiz – if you pass, feel free to continue, if you don’t score the required minimum then we suggest that you look into the recommended resources again before starting the course.


You will receive a certificate of achievement for completing the course. You can also download a diploma supplement under the tab ‘Materials’, once you have completed the course.

Meet the Team

For this Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) we combined the expertise of various internationally renowned institutes with the support of experts in their respective fields.

This course was created by GFZ Potsdam together with EO-College and various partner institutions.

Arlena Brosinsky
(GFZ Potsdam)
Saskia Förster
(GFZ Potsdam)
Charlotte Wilczok
(GFZ Potsdam)
Robert Eckardt
(EO College)

Funded by

The development of the course was funded within the EnMAP science program under the German Space Agency at DLR with resources from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Project partners

In cooperation with



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), except where noted otherwise.

Beyond the Visible – Introduction to Hyperspectral Remote Sensing, MOOC, HYPERedu, EnMAP education initiative, originally published November 2021, 2nd revision November 2022, GFZ Potsdam / DLR Space Agency.

Once you have completed the course, you will find your course certificate and a diploma supplement here.

Course Content

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4 Courses

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Course Includes

  • 6 Lessons
  • 29 Topics
  • 21 Quizzes
  • Course Certificate