INTEGRATED AIRBORNE SOLUTIONS
UAVs are more common than ever. They are more affordable and easier to fly, and flight regulations are more relaxed. The commercial evolution of the technology has progressed significantly.
The pairing of remote sensing instruments aboard UAVs has progressed rapidly as well. However, integration challenges are significant and must be understood.
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The issues are complex: weight and balance, frame rates, desired field of view, flight speed, altitude, data storage, and spectral/spatial resolution. Often, other instruments such as LiDAR, RGB, and thermal cameras are added to the payload. All must be understood with respect to power consumption and how their respective data streams synthesize during flight.
With these challenges in mind, every integrated airborne solution produced by Headwall is flown repeatedly so that image data can be collected and analyzed.
Commercial remote sensing missions are numerous, and the determination of which spectral range to choose is a function of what users need to see. Headwall's Hyperspec® sensors cover the popular ranges from UV-VIS up to SWIR.
Because it is the smallest and lightest instrument of its kind, Headwall's co-aligned VNIR+SWIR imaging sensor can represent a valuable complement to a range of commercially available UAVs. This sensor collects data from 400nm to 2500nm and features onboard storage.
COMMERCIAL APPLICATION OVERVIEW
Headwall's Nano-Hyperspec VNIR sensor has 480GB of internal data storage, which allows additional payload budget for other instruments such as LiDAR, thermal, RGB and more.
Micro-Hyperspec sensors (available in ranges including VNIR, Extended VNIR, NIR and SWIR) are complemented by Headwall's HYPERCORE™ data-fusion hub, which provides the same 480GB of storage while adding connection points for other instruments.
DATA STORAGE & SENSOR FUSION
A key aspect of integration is data storage and synthesizing the data streams from connected instruments. Headwall's Nano-Hyperspec® has 480GB of internal storage inside the enclosure. The HyperCore instrument has the same 480GB of solid state storage but adds several connection points for LiDAR, the GPS/IMU, and other devices commonly used for remote sensing missions. This is a valuable, one-of-a-kind device that achieves data synthesis for all the related information streams the mission collects.
The objective when collecting hyperspectral image data is to present 'square pixels' to the focal plane array (FPA). This is a function of sensor frame rate, flight speed over the ground, and GPS/IMU accuracy. Headwall uses stabilizing gimbals in many instances to assure that no matter what the UAV does while aloft, collected image data is precise.
During post-processing, the power of orthorectification removes the distorting effects of tilt and terrain relief seen in the raw data and delivers an orthogonal ('flattened') view of the ground. Features are straight and accurate.
Perhaps no other instrument is more valuable to image accuracy than the GPS-IMU (Global Positioning System + Internal Measurement Unit). Headwall provides a range of options based on budget and desired accuracy.