Maging spectroscopy involves the sensing of a large amount of spatial information across a multitude of wavelengths. Conventional approaches to hyperspectral sensing scan adjacent zones of the underlying spectral scene and merge the results to construct a spectral data cube. Push broom spectral imaging sensors, for instance, capture a spectral cube with one focal plane array (FPA) measurement per spatial line of the scene , . Spectrometers based on optical bandpass filters sequentially scan the scene by tuning the bandpass filters in steps. The disadvantage of these techniques is that they require scanning a number of zones linearly in proportion to the desired spatial and spectral resolution. This article surveys compressive coded aperture spectral imagers, also known as coded aperture snapshot spectral imagers (CASSI) , , , which naturally embody the principles of compressive sensing (CS) , . The remarkable advantage of CASSI is that the entire data cube is sensed with just a few FPA measurements and, in some cases, with as little as a single FPA shot. © 1991-2012 IEEE.