For future long-duration space exploration missions, NASA expressed the need for plant systems that may provide a nutrient dense supplement to crew diet and possibly other life support functions, such as CO2 removal, O2 production, water recovery, and waste recycling. Current and future infrastructure for plant growth include chambers with controlled environments. To ensure optimal growing conditions in these chambers, the plants will require precise monitoring of health throughout the plant life cycle. These monitoring systems will need to operate autonomously with little crew involvement. Current plant monitoring instruments include multispectral and hyperspectral sensing that require post-process algorithms to detect physiological phenomena. Space Lab Technologies (Space Lab) and the Space Plants Lab at the University of Florida (UF) propose an improved approach for monitoring space plant health using a smart spectral polarimetric imager to monitor morphological features and stresses. The Phase I work investigates not only sensing bandlimited reflectance as do current space plant imagers, but also study the polarization flux reflected from the plant surfaces. The polarization information conveys electric field direction of the reflected light. Spectral polarization studies of plants are an emerging method for plant health monitoring with related published works within the past few years. The proposed innovation expands upon this current research, where the biological and physical science for plant spectral polarimetry is still being researched. In addition to spectral polarization imaging, real-time image processing using digital signal processing techniques within the on-board FPGA provide autonomous plant health monitoring. Combining the use of spectrum, polarization, and real-time image processing in instrumentation enables optimal control for producing healthy plants or crops for space exploration.