Headwall Delivers Small, Lightweight Hyperspectral Sensor to ACT LLC

Gimbal-Mounted Micro-Hyperspec® Sensor Provides Precision Hyperspectral Imaging for Key NAVAIR UAV Program

Fitchburg, MA, July 3, 2012 - As a result of tactical hyperspectral sensor trials with small military UAVs, Headwall Photonics has received a follow-on contract for program deployment of its Micro-Hyperspec® hyperspectral sensor to NAVAIR with Advanced Coherent Technologies LLC (ACT) of San Diego, CA serving as program integrator. The very small hyperspectral sensor operates in the near-infrared (NIR) spectral range of 900nm - 1700nm and will be used to Navair ACT Headwalldetect specific target materials from a small gimbal mounted on a TigerShark Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The NAVAIR program successfully brings together leading-edge spectral imaging technology from Headwall and ACT so that mission-critical decisions can be made accurately and rapidly.
Jon Schoonmaker, head of Contracting and Sales for ACT, mentioned some of the key characteristics that the Headwall sensor provided. "The aberration-corrected, concentric design used by Headwall gives us very low distortion and a very high signal-to-noise ratio," said Schoonmaker. "Headwall optimized the package for size, weight and power (SWaP) because the 7-inch gimbal will also contain other electronics and sensors as part of the payload." Schoonmaker concluded by remarking on the collaboration between ACT and Headwall. "Our companies worked together to develop a solution that NAVAIR is very eager to have in their arsenal. The TigerShark is a small UAV platform and SWaP is a performance driver."
"We are excited that ACT has selected Micro-Hyperspec platform for their airborne program," offered David Bannon, CEO of Headwall Photonics. "We have developed airborne hyperspectral sensor solutions, from low- and high-altitude manned aircraft and UAVs to satellites in low earth orbit," said Bannon. "In each case, our long-standing hyperspectral experience and innovative engineering and manufacturing capabilities help customers meet their specific business and technical objectives. We are looking forward to continued engagement with the ACT team and utilizing their extensive sensor expertise."
In addition to the SWaP-optimized Micro-Hyperspec, Headwall's other High Efficiency Hyperspec sensors are COTS products and have been widely deployed for military and defense applications; these sensors are available as optimized sensors for the following spectral regions:

UV 250nm - 600nm
VNIR 380nm - 1000nm
Extended VNIR 550nm - 1700nm
NIR 900nm - 1700nm
SWIR 950nm - 2500nm





About Micro-Hyperspec                                                                                                                          

Headwall's Micro-Hyperspec NIR (900-1700 nm) & VNIR (380-1000 nm) imaging sensors offer extreme performance for the most demanding UAV/UAS and UGV applications. The hyperspectral imaging instruments are small, lightweight, and robust for use in small-payload/harsh environment applications. The sensors are particularly well suited for applications where high spectral/spatial resolution and high dynamic range are key performance parameters. The Micro-Hyperspec imaging sensor is built on a totally reflective, concentric optical design. Headwall's patented, hyperspectral instruments feature aberration-correction and high-efficiency diffraction gratings, which results in very high signal-to-noise performance and radiometric accuracy.

About Advanced Coherent Technologies (ACT)                                                                      

Advanced Coherent Technologies, LLC (ACT) supports government and commercial agencies working in technologies relating to remote sensing. ACTs systems are designed to find and extract low contrast and hidden target information in environments ranging from desert to oceanic as well as provide real-time surveillance capabilities of the same.
ACT designs and develops low-cost, multi-channel imaging systems capable of efficiently collecting high-end imagery and producing real-time, high-quality data products suitable for military, commercial, and civil use.

Headwall Photonics Wins 2012 R&D 100 Award for Hyperspec RECON

Handheld, rugged hyperspectral sensor recognized as one of the world's most technologically significant products 


Fitchburg, MA, June 20, 2012 - R&D Magazine has just announced that the Hyperspec® RECON™ hyperspectral sensor has been chosen as a recipient of a 2012 R&D 100 Award. The annual award competition is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. An independent judging panel along with editors of R&D Magazine chose the top 100 products; results were made public R&D 100 Awardtoday.


"We are extremely proud to win this very prestigious award," said David Bannon, CEO of Headwall Photonics. "The core technologies that differentiated Hyperspec RECON in the eyes of the judging panel--very high spatial and spectral resolution and high-efficiency diffractive optics--are fundamental to all ourHyperspec RECON hyperspectral sensors."


Rita Peters, Editorial Director for R&D Magazine, notified Headwall Photonics that its Hyperspec RECON sensor was chosen as one of the 100 most technologically significant products introduced in the past year. "On behalf of the R&D staff, I would like to congratulate the project team on the design, development, testing, and production of this remarkable product."


Formal presentation and acceptance of the award will take place November 1, 2012 in Orlando.

Headwall's Spectrometers Power Advanced Grain Analyzers

Australian maker of Cropscan Grain Analyzers Reaches 1000-unit milestone

Fitchburg, MA, April 17, 2012 – Pushing the science of spectral analysis forward, Headwall is pleased to recognize that Australian-based Next Instruments has now produced and installed more than 1,000 of its Cropscan Whole Grain Analyzers across the world. These small, rugged, cost-effective NIR (near infrared) spectral analyzers allow farmers and independent grain buyers to rapidly and easily measure protein, moisture and oil in cereals and oil seeds. The first CropScan analyzer was introduced in 2000, leading to several other versions meeting particular needs.

cropscan analyzersHeadwall Photonics provides a miniaturized OEM spectral engine (spectrometer) for each CropScan analyzer, which NIR Technology Systems uses to yield exceptional spectral and spatial resolution. Headwall’s customized MS-10HR spectrometers are OEM products produced for NIR Technology. They comprise original holographic diffraction gratings that use a patented aberration-corrected design. This allows each CropScan analyzer to make reliable, high-resolution measurements of agricultural products and crops. Data analysis is thus assured to be precise, uniform, and consistent from unit to unit.

Phil Clancy, CEO of Next Instruments, explained that the success of CropScan has everything to do with optical fidelity. "By aligning with Headwall, we assure ourselves of product uniformity and precision with respect to the spectrometer assembly," said Clancy. "Our customers rely on instruments that they can cross-calibrate from one to the next, which has been a tremendous benefit to them. Headwall is focused on quality and is a very predictable OEM supply chain partner."  Originally designed for the Australian agricultural market, CropScan is a worldwide brand that is now used in more than other 15 countries.

David Bannon, CEO of Headwall Photonics, noted the success of the CropScan analyzer. "We see the rapid adoption of integrated spectral instrumentation across a broad range of agricultural applications and CropScan has such a tremendous value proposition,"said Bannon. "Pooling our respective technical strengths to help make food-crops safer and more nourishing is very rewarding. We are very pleased to be a part of Next Instruments' success."

About Headwall Photonics

Headwall Photonics is a leading designer and manufacturer of imaging spectrometers, spectral instrumentation, and diffractive optics for industrial, commercial, and government markets. Headwall’s high performance instruments have been selected by government, OEM, and end-user customers around the world for use in critical application environments. Headwall enjoys a market leadership position through the design and manufacture of spectral instrumentation that is customized for application-specific performance.  Headwall Photonics was formed as the result of a management buy-out from Agilent Technologies.


For information contact:

Mr. Chris Van Veen, Marketing

Headwall Photonics, Inc.     

Tel: +1 978-353-4051        



About Next Instruments

Next Instruments designs, manufactures, markets and sells a range of Near Infrared Transmission (NIT) analysers that are used to measure organic compounds in synthetic and natural products such as food, grains, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.

NIR Technology’s current product range includes:

  • Cropscan 1000G, 1000B, 2000B and 2000H Whole Grain Analysers
  • Series 1000, 2000 and 3000 Analysers for the Food and Industrial markets
  • FOP-38 Fibre Optic Probe and On Line Analysers

In 2009, Next Instruments gained a National Measurement Institute Pattern approval for the Cropscan 2000B NIT Analyser as well as the Cropscan 1000B Whole Grain Analyser. With NMI Certification, the Cropscan product family has successfully been introduced in more than 15 other countries.


For information contact:

Mr. Phil Clancy, CEO

Next Instruments

Tel: +61 2 9771 5255


Subscribe Now

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all