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EARTH OBSERVATION
Remote Sensing Solution Takes Wing Aboard Ultralight Aircraft
by Staff Writers
Fitchburg MA (SPX) Jan 30, 2013


The airborne technology will allow scientists to gather a wealth of data around bacteria, sediments, and dissolved gasses.

Using the Headwall Photonics Micro-Hyperspec VNIR sensor, Headwall's integration partner Alava Ingenieros (Madrid, Spain) will provide the worldwide scientific community with a completely integrated airborne remote sensing solution that is currently being deployed.

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL, Lausanne Switzerland) is sponsoring an exploration program featuring a sensor-packed ultralight aircraft that will analyze the phenomena occurring at the interface between air and water. Flights are underway now over Lake Geneva in Switzerland, and will be repeated over Lake Baikal in Russia later this year.

The airborne technology will allow scientists to gather a wealth of data around bacteria, sediments, and dissolved gasses.

While satellites can analyze these variables now, low-flying ultralight aircraft can collect this data more precisely and put it into the hands of researchers sooner. Because Micro Hyperspec is exceptionally small and light, EPFL plans to eventually migrate to even smaller and lighter UAVs.

Micro-Hyperspec is the industry's only remote sensing instrument specifically designed for high resolution spectral and spatial imaging aboard small, tactical airborne vehicles.

It provides excellent spatial and spectral resolution and a wide field of view, meaning a more efficient flight path over areas of interest. Alava is packaging Micro-Hyperspec with the software needed to handle radiometric calibration, flight data acquisition, ground data acquisition, atmospheric correction, and post-processing of the hyperspectral data. The Airborne Remote Sensing Spectral Solution (ARS3) is available from Headwall and Alava now.

David Bannon, CEO of Headwall, commented on the value of hyperspectral sensing from airborne platforms: "ARS3 is a very high performance - yet affordable - sensor solution for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and manned aircraft.

Alava has integrated a complete airborne solution around the market leading Micro-Hyperspec sensor which meets the demanding requirements of hyperspectral imaging in harsh environments."

Thanks to Headwall's innovative and pioneering sensor designs, remote sensing from the air using hyperspectral imaging is a fast-growing field of research. Because hyperspectral technology is more precise and more affordable than ever, it can be used for forestry management, precision agriculture, pollution control, resource exploration, and more.

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