Remote sensing involves capturing spectral and spatial data from a UAV, a cubesat, or even from the ground on a pan-and-tilt configuration. The data collected provides commercial users with information needed to make important decisions. For example, the sensor can detect the presence of crop diseases with unfailing resolution, determining what it is (spectral) and where it is (spatial).
UAV deployments are very common for commercial remote sensing applications, mostly because they are affordable and stable while aloft. Headwall partners with many UAV types, including the DJI Matrice 600M. Whether fixed-wing or multi-rotor, Headwall's spectral imaging sensors are deployed on both types around the world.
An important characteristic of every Headwall spectral imaging sensor is an aberration-corrected, wide field of view. For airborne missions, this assures flight path efficiency because the image is crisp across its entire field of view. Another characteristic is low stray light, which helps optimize high signal-to-noise. Because Headwall produces its own diffractive optics, every sensor is tuned to peak efficiency in the wavebands of interest.
Headwall's imaging sensors collect data across hundreds of spectral and spatial pixels, and the resulting hyperspectral data cube can be downloaded and immediately after flight. The data is processed with powerful Headwall software, which delivers actionable maps to the user so that corrective actions can occur. This may be fertilization, irrigation, the use of pesticides. But the information from the imaging sensor allows the user to determine what the problem is, where it is, and what to do about it.
Headwall manufactures sensors covering ranges such as the visible-near-infrared (VNIR) from 400-1000nm as well as the shortwave-infrared (SWIR) from 900-2500nm. Nano-Hyperspec and Micro-Hyperspec sensors are very small and light, perfect for most commercial UAVs. For full hyperspectral coverage from 400-2500nm (VNIR+SWIR) Headwall manufactures a co-aligned VNIR-SWIR sensor that is the smallest and lightest of its type.
Integration is a large part of Headwall's excellence in remote sensing. Exceptionally precise GPS-IMU instruments assure spatially correct data, and the integration of LiDAR allows users to produce 'point-cloud' elevation data in addition to hyperspectral imagery.