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Micro-Hyperspec Collects Remote Sensing Data Aboard Small UAVs

Small Hyperspectral Imager Yields Critical Crop Health Information

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Fitchburg, MA; December 12, 2011 - Headwall Photonics has announced that its Micro-Hyperspec® imaging sensor is being successfully deployed aboard very small commercial UAVs to help agriculturalists and researchers monitor vegetation over wide areas. Accurate spectral scenes of farmlands and crop fields can now be quickly rendered using this technology. Nutrient stress conditions of crops and fruit, for example, can be gathered by placing these miniaturized hyperspectral imagers on long-duration commercial UAVs, which crisscross farmland to yield a mosaic of data-rich images.

airborne micro hyperspec

Headwall worked collaboratively with Pablo Zarco-Tejada, a Principal Investigator at the Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible (IAS) in Spain. "This is a critically useful deployment of our technology by a leading researcher in the remote sensing community," said David Bannon, CEO of Headwall Photonics. "Hyperspectral imaging allows agricultural experts across the globe to make crop and vegetation decisions that will enrich the lives of everyone." Bannon noted the need for precision hyperspectral imaging solutions that are small, light, and rugged. "Size, weight and power requirements are important concerns when deploying this technology aboard airborne vehicles, so we developed and engineered the aberration-corrected Micro-Hyperspec sensor with that in mind," said Bannon.

With a small size and fully integrated payload weight of less than 1.5 lbs., the Micro-Hyperspec imaging sensor is an ideal sensor for very small UAV platforms. The Micro-Hyperspec is available in VNIR configurations (380-1000nm) and NIR configurations (900-1700nm). The Micro-Hyperspec is available as a complete airborne configuration consisting of a small, accurate GPS/INS unit, data processing engine with high capacity, solid state drive, and application software necessary to acquire and display hyperspectral datacubes with exceptional spectral and spatial resolution.

Pablo Zarco-Tejada commented on the success of the collaborative effort between IAS and Headwall: "We've pioneered this technology aboard unmanned airborne platforms and the data we're able to collect about agriculture and croplands helps us make life-enriching decisions for everyone." A mosaic of the flight patterns yields a tremendous amount of useful data about the vegetation below. The use of long-duration UAVs means better stability aloft, and larger data volumes stored during each flight. "Headwall's Micro-Hyperspec technology and their applications support have allowed us to achieve what matters most in our field of work: outstanding spectral/spatial resolution and high dynamic range in a rugged, small-form-factor package," concluded Zarco-Tejada.

About Headwall Photonics

Headwall Photonics is the leading designer and manufacturer of imaging spectrometers and spectral instrumentation for industrial, commercial, and government markets. Headwall's high performance spectrometers, spectral engines, and holographic diffraction gratings have been selected by OEM and end-user customers around the world for use in critical application environments. As a pioneer in the development of innovative spectrographs and imaging spectrometers based on optical technologies, Headwall enjoys a market leadership position through the design and manufacture of patented spectral instrumentation that is customized for application-specific performance. Headwall Photonics is ISO 9001:2008 certified and was formed in 2003 as the result of a management buy-out from Agilent Technologies.

About Instituto de Agricultura Sostensible (IAS)

The Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (IAS) was established in 1992 as a unique research center within the CSIC mission in agricultural research. The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is the largest public institution dedicated to research in Spain and the third largest in Europe. IAS focuses on the strategic analysis of resources to improve the sustainability of agriculture. IAS also investigates and compares options for exploiting these resources sustainably and economically, and optimizing resource use while minimizing environmental degradation.

For information on Headwall Photonics, please contact:

Headwall Photonics, Inc.
Email: [email protected]

Tags: hyperspectral imaging, hyperspectral, UAV, IAS