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The Headwall Blog

Customer in Australia Receives Grant for Hyperspectral Study of the Great Barrier Reef

Headwall customer Associate Professor Felipe Gonzalez, at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Institute for Future Environments and the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision is using Headwall hyperspectral imaging from airborne UAVs to monitor and analyze the health of the Great Barrier Reef has received part of the $50 million AI for Earth program by Microsoft.

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100 Earth-Shattering Remote Sensing Applications

Remote sensing as a technique is finding more and more acceptance beyond early military and agricultural applications. Take a look at this intriguing list published in GISGeography. We can help you with many of these applications. Related to list item number 2, we recently introduced our new LiDAR Tools software package to support a lightweight LiDAR add-on that can be incorporated onto our integrated UAV payload.
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Airborne Integration Considerations

Our customers come to us with missions that range from crop disease detection to infrastructure inspection, from environmental monitoring to pollution analysis. Hyperspectral imaging sensors provide a wealth of high-resolution data in the near-infrared and shortwave infrared ranges...beyond human vision. But we see an increasing level of integration occurring where hyperspectral rides alongside instruments such as thermal, LiDAR, and GPS/IMUs. The data streams coming from each instrument need to be synthesized ('data fusion') but the instruments themselves need to be positioned and located on the UAV to assure a balanced airborne package.

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Hyperspec SWIR Gets UAV Wings!

Remote sensing with hyperspectral sensors is  a combination of several elements: an imaging spectrometer and a fast data processing system to acquire and analyze spectral and spatial data. For remote sensing missions such as crop disease or invasive species detection, the spectral range of most interest is the visible-near-infrared (VNIR) from 400-1000nm.

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The Eyes Have It...But Not Always

Humans have a marvelous ability to see and identify objects within what is called the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum. That starts at roughly 380 nanometers and goes up to around 700 nanometers or so.

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Data Fusion: A New Capability for the Remote Sensing Community

We’re seeing a tremendous increase in the number of airborne deployments for our hyperspectral imaging sensors. To a large degree, the trend toward smaller and more affordable UAVs is giving the remote sensing community more flexibility to undertake more missions to capture meaningful environmental data. From wine-grape vineyards in northern California to coffee bean plantations in South America, the precision agriculture community is embracing packaged ‘UAS’ offerings that combine a UAV matched to the payload it needs to carry.

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Headwall Delivers Micro-Hyperspec® Sensors to Columbia University

High-performance imaging sensors on small, commercial UAS will assess ocean and sea ice variability in Arctic zones

FITCHBURG, MA - OCTOBER 9, 2014: Headwall Photonics has delivered two high-performance hyperspectral imaging sensors to Columbia University as part of its Air-Sea-Ice Physics and Biogeochemistry Experiment (ASIPBEX). ASIPBEX is part of a larger international collaborative investigation of Climate Cryosphere Interaction with colleagues from Spain, Germany and Norway. This crucial remote-sensing project will use a high-endurance unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to investigate climatological changes present in the Arctic Ocean around Svalbard, Norway. The instrument payload comprises two Micro-Hyperpsec sensors; one will cover the Visible-Near-Infrared (VNIR) range of 400-1000nm while the other will cover the Near-Infrared (NIR) range of 900-1700nm. Together, the sensors will be crucial in detecting indicators of sea ice physics, solar warming and global carbon cycles.

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Smaller, Lighter, Better: Hyperspectral on UAVs

At Headwall we've been busy listening to the market. When it comes to airborne remote sensing, the market is telling us that they favor UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) of all kinds: fixed-wing, multi-rotor, and so on. There's no end to the number of companies producing UAVs globally. Because many UAVs produced today are very small and affordable they are 'within reach' of those with even modest means. Universities represent one key market where the use of UAVs is rapidly increasing. Full of scientists and research departments, universities around the globe see these small and light UAVs as a perfect platform from which to launch their exploratory studies. They are affordable, easy to assembly and transport, and (especially with multi-rotor models) can take off and land within a very small footprint.

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Hyperspectral Takes Wing Over Ontario!

Under cloudless skies in Ontario recently, Headwall achieved a very notable milestone: we became the first to fly both hyperspectral and LiDAR aboard a small, fully integrated handheld UAS. The test flights not only verified the reliable airworthiness of the system but also the ability to collect valuable hyperspectral and LiDAR data in real time.

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UAVs and Hyperspectral Imaging Unite

One of the things we’re seeing at Headwall is the proliferation of airborne applications. Multispectral suffers a bit with respect to hyperspectral (a handful of bands versus hundreds), which is why hyperspectral is winning the day.

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