A multichannel imaging spectrometer for airborne geological, geophysical and environmental surveys in a moving vehicle. An optical scanner employs a rotating polygon allowing reduced scan optics with increased data acquisition efficiency. Multiple spectrometers integrally registered allow channelization of the received signal to optimize noise performance in the range from ultraviolet through infrared. Output data is in a form for recording and real time display. A staring mode configuration provides enhanced sensitivity by using a two-dimensional detector array and adjustable mirror orientation. A scanning mode embodiment employs a two-dimensional detector array with time delay integration and three-dimensional storage of temporal spatial data and spectral wavelength and intensity. Thus, all channels are acquired simultaneously, resulting in perfect band-to-band registration with continuous spectral curves over the field of view. On-board real-time absolute radiometric calibration is provided by an integral reflective white plate and radiometrically and spectrally calibrated light source illuminating a column of detectors independent of illumination by the target during the scan cycle. Dark current measurement is achieved in both the scan and stare modes by an auxiliary detector column.