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The Headwall Blog

Demonstrating Hyperspectral Imaging in Amsterdam!

In Amsterdam this week, more than 40 attendees at the IEEE SpectroExpo-WHISPERS conference have participated in a field test of Headwall's Nano-Hyperspec® VNIR sensor. VNIR is shorthand for 'Visible-Near-Infrared,' and the sensor collects image data from 400-1000nm across 270 spectral bands and 640 spatial pixels.

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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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Nano-Hyperspec, PrecisionHawk Impress!

Steven Sexton is Technical Consultant at Aerial Imaging Services, LLC (Ephrata, WA). With broad availability of new UAVs and high-performance hyperspectral imaging sensors, Steven's business is a good one. 'Remote sensing' is the study of agriculture, climatology, geology, and infrastructure from airborne platforms. The amount and quality of image data the sensors collect is amazing, allowing scientists to make important decisions about crops, plant health, mineral deposits, and environmental trends.

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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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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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Hyperspectral Sensors for UAV Applications

The scientific research community is beginning to understand and embrace hyperspectral imaging as a useful tool for a few primary reasons. First, sensors are more affordable than ever. Originally conceived as multi-million-dollar ISR platforms for defense applications, hyperspectral imagers have been successfully ‘commercialized’ over the past few years. Scientists typically embracing RGB or multispectral technology before can now acquire hyperspectral sensors at affordable price points.

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