Naval Air Systems Command integrates hyperspectral imaging on UAV

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The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is adding hyperspectral imaging capability to its TigerShark Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The very small hyperspectral sensor, the Micro-Hyperspec from Headwall Photonics, operates in the near-infrared (NIR) spectral range of 900-1,700nm and will be used to detect specific target materials. Advanced Coherent Technologies (ACT) of San Diego, CA will serve as programme integrator.

The NAVAIR programme 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,’ he said. ‘Headwall optimised 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.’

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