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Open-File Report 2013–1300

The Tetracorder User Guide—Version 4.4

By K. Eric Livo and Roger N. Clark

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.43 MB)Abstract

Imaging spectroscopy mapping software assists in the identification and mapping of materials based on their chemical properties as expressed in spectral measurements of a planet including the solid or liquid surface or atmosphere. Such software can be used to analyze field, aircraft, or spacecraft data; remote sensing datasets; or laboratory spectra. Tetracorder is a set of software algorithms commanded through an expert system to identify materials based on their spectra (Clark and others, 2003). Tetracorder also can be used in traditional remote sensing analyses, because some of the algorithms are a version of a matched filter. Thus, depending on the instructions fed to the Tetracorder system, results can range from simple matched filter output, to spectral feature fitting, to full identification of surface materials (within the limits of the spectral signatures of materials over the spectral range and resolution of the imaging spectroscopy data). A basic understanding of spectroscopy by the user is required for developing an optimum mapping strategy and assessing the results.

First posted January 22, 2014

For additional information contact:
Director, Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Box 25046, MS-973
Denver, CO 80225

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Suggested citation:

Livo, K.E., Clark, R.N., 2014, The Tetracorder user guide—Version 4.4: U.S. Geological Survey, Open-File Report 2013–1300, 52 p.,

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)


Part I—Getting Started


What is Tetracorder?

Visualization and Spectral Plots

Part IIa—Quick Start

Quick Start Steps for MS-Windows® PCs

Evaluation of Results

Part IIb—Running Tetracorder

More Details

Tetracorder Command-Scripts and Control-Files

Running Tetracorder Directly

Material-Map Output Files

Part III—Tetracorder Details

Tetracorder Algorithms

Mapping Subdirectory Structure

Imaging Spectrometer Data

Spectral Library Database

Creating/Modifying Tetracorder Script Command Files


Tetracorder Runtime Debugging

Optional tetracorder.out and tetrun.out

Image Output Files


Appendix 1—Tetracorder Description and Getting Help

Appendix 2—Tetracorder Installation Procedures

Appendix 3—Optional Software

Appendix 4—Data and Spectral Libraries

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Page Last Modified: Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 01:07:24 PM