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Headwall’s New Nano-Hyperspec Sensor Fits Small Hand-Launched UAVs

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Friday, June 27th 2014
| Fitchburg, MA


Small VNIR Hyperspectral Sensor Combines Data Processing Unit In Lightweight, 1.4 lb. Payload

In extending technological leadership within the remote sensing market, Headwall announced availability of its new Nano-Hyperspec sensor for commercial UAV deployment. The low-cost hyperspectral sensor operates in the VNIR (400-1000nm) spectral range and includes onboard data processing and storage to minimize size, weight, and power constraints inherent with small, hand-launched UAVs.

The Nano-Hyperspec sensor can be combined with optional GPS/IMU capabilities to provide an airborne configuration that is small, light, and fully integrated. The total sensor package with data processor and storage weighs approximately 1.5 lb. (0.6 kg) and measures a scant 3 inch x 3 inch x 4.7 inch (76.2mm x 76.2mm x 119.4mm).

The VNIR sensor features 640 spatial bands and 270 spectral bands at a resolution of 2-3 nm. The frame rate of the Nano-Hyperspec is over 300 frames per second; usable data storage capacity is 480GB.

Nano-Hyperspec is available in two options:

  • OEM-programmable sensor configuration

  • High-performance sensor configuration for end-users

Pablo with UAV"We designed Nano-Hyperspec to complement our performance-leading Hyperspec line of sensors and the growing market for small, low-cost, hand-launched UAVs," explained Headwall CEO David Bannon. "The real innovation is the integration of the Nano-Hyperspec optical sensor and data processing module," he noted. The optional GPS/IMU provides pinpoint correlation between actual terrain coordinates and hyperspectral data for a completely orthorectified hyperspectral data set. This functionality is just one of the many capabilities of Headwall's Hyperspec III software

"In comparison, our Micro-Hyperspec sensor has been an industry-leading airborne sensor for many years," noted Bannon. "But Nano-Hyperspec addresses the rapid adoption of very small, hand-launched commercial UAVs where more integration within an even smaller, lighter package is needed," he noted. Headwall worked collaboratively with customers and UAV makers to achieve the Nano-Hyperspec design. Precision agriculture and environmental monitoring are two facets of the 'remote sensing' market addressed by the Nano-Hyperspec instrument.

Headwall's hyperspectral sensors are all based on a patented, concentric, aberration-corrected design using precision high-performance gratings. This fundamentally simple yet elegant design is very robust and features no moving parts and no transmissive optics such as prisms that contribute to measurement inaccuracy and stray light. Headwall's sensor design provides high signal-to-noise and outstanding spatial and spectral resolution across the entire spectral range and field of view.. The very wide field-of-view of Nano-Hyperspec is crucial for airborne applications that demand flight-path efficiency.

Delivery of Nano-Hyperspec is approximately 4-6 weeks ARO. For a sales quotation, please email:

Information@HeadwallPhotonics.com.

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