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EARTH OBSERVATION
Sensor Payloads Lift Off With Availability of Complete Hyperspectral Airborne Solution
by Staff Writers
Fitchburg MA (SPX) Nov 05, 2013


File image.

Responding to customer demand across the remote sensing industry for small, light, and power-efficient spectral imaging solutions, Headwall has announced availability of a completely integrated airborne solution that provides users with unmatched levels of hyperspectral image acquisition and data-processing performance.

The core element of the solution comprises Headwall's Micro-Hyperspec hyperspectral sensor, which is based on the Company's patented aberration-corrected sensor design. The use of aberration-corrected diffractive optics designed and manufactured by Headwall allows the Micro-Hyperspec sensor to achieve outstanding performance: very high signal-to-noise characteristics, a very wide field-of-view, and high spatial and spectral resolution.

Headwall engineers designed the hyperspectral airborne configuration to optimize configuration size, weight, and power (SWaP), which are each critical considerations for deployment on manned aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Elements of the solution include a GPS unit, a compact, lightweight Hyperspec Data Processing Unit, and airborne-specific hyperspectral software providing image acquisition, sensor control, and synchronization for flight-plan efficiency. Every element of the solution is optimized for airborne use, in platforms ranging from small, hand-launched UAVs to fixed-wing aircraft and multi-rotor airframes.

"All across the remote-sensing landscape we're seeing a need for precise, accurate, data-rich hyperspectral imagery using increasingly smaller airborne platforms," said David Bannon, CEO of Headwall.

"Customers need solutions that are small and light, and they need them to be fully integrated between the sensor, software, GPS/INS, and data-processing hardware." Because Headwall's hyperspectral sensors run at very high frame rates to capture exceptionally precise imagery, Hyperspec data processing software is optimized for the task.

"We found that many of our customers were spending a lot of valuable time assembling the necessary payload components," said Mr. Bannon. The Headwall team worked collaboratively with leading researchers to offer an airborne configuration that is ready to fly out-of-the-box.

Typical uses for hyperspectral sensing from airborne platforms include precision agriculture, oil and gas exploration, forestry management, and environmental monitoring.

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