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Headwall founders Larry Barstow and David Bannon share a love of hiking the mountains of New England. The headwall of Tuckerman Ravine on Mount Washington’s eastern face is a challenging route they both enjoy, especially in the snow.

As entrepreneurial technologists, Barstow and Bannon gravitate to challenges with rewarding outcomes. Our spectral imaging solutions meet tough challenges because they are application-specific, affordable, and quick-to-market. For end users and OEMs across every market it serves, Headwall is tackling and solving the toughest optical engineering problems in a collaborative manner.

Company Background

Headwall Photonics is a truly unique technology venture that was founded in 2003 as the result of a management buy-out of Agilent Technologies' Holographic Grating Operation. Headwall is the world's leading high-volume manufacturer of original holographic diffraction gratings, optical modules, and fully integrated imaging instruments. The Company produces these products for end users as well as its OEM partners.

Continuing the rich engineering legacy of American Holographic (which was acquired by Agilent in 2000), Headwall offers its extensive worldwide base of customers a range of application-specific optical wavelength solutions. Markets include industrial inspection, defense and security, remote sensing, and biotechnology.

Strategically, Headwall’s optical capabilities can help customers extend their engineering organizations. The Company’s strength comes from providing customers with engineering expertise and capabilities throughout the product life cycle, which ranges from product concept and optical design through high-volume manufacturing.

Headwall's application-specific hyperspectral and Raman products deliver highest optical performance thanks to high grating efficiency and low stray light. The gratings themselves are also application-specific with respect to groove density, size, and performance. By producing all-original gratings, Headwall is able to assure optical uniformity for each one. Small form-factor gratings, rapid prototyping, environmental stability, and Telcordia compliance are all focus points for Headwall.

Manufacturing Locations

United States

601 River Street

Fitchburg, MA 01420

Phone: (978) 353-4100


Headwall BVBA

Pegasus Park

De Kleetlaan 5 / 9

1831 Diegem



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ISO certification


Headwall’s long-standing commitment as a quality-focused organization is demonstrated by its certifcation to the standards of ISO-9001:2008.