Headwall Hyperspectral Sensor System Launched Into Space

Hyperspec VNIR and SWIR imaging sensors launched for Japan Space Systems earth monitoring mission aboard the International Space Station

Analytik partner Headwall announced that its High Efficiency Hyperspec Sensor System was launched into space for a multi year earth monitoring research mission aboard the International Space Station. The mission known by the name of HISUI (Hyperspectral Imager SUIte) within the earth-observation community supports research being conducted by Japan Space Systems, a leading space exploration organisation in Japan.

The Headwall sensor payload consists of two custom, high performance imaging spectrometers. The High-Efficiency Hyperspec VNIR covers the spectral range from 400nm to 1000nm and the High-Efficiency Hyperspec SWIR covers the spectral range of 900nm to 2500nm. Together they deliver 185 spectral bands over a 20 km swathe with 20 x 30 meter spatial resolution. HISUI itself consists of the imaging portion installed in the Exposed Facility (EF) and a mission data recorder installed in the Pressurised Module (PM) of the Japan Experiment Module (JEM) for a three-year mission life.

Headwall has a successful legacy of developing products for space programs and this is an important differentiator for our engineering team. With a strategic focus on the new space economy, Headwall has been able to utilise our COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) hyperspectral sensor technology at much lower price points than are available through traditional space contractors – all without sacrificing imaging performance. This strategy has enabled the cost-effective development of small satellite and CubeSat constellations with the additional benefit of reducing technical risk, budget risk, and schedule risk.


David Bannon, President & CEO of Headwall.

Headwall has developed a portfolio of spaceborne hyperspectral imaging spectrometers for a range of applications ranging from earth monitoring to greenhouse gas detection. The Headwall hyperspectral sensor payload was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 12:29pm EST / 17:29 GMT on December 5, 2019. The Headwall team viewed the launch from the Kennedy Space Center observatory along with representatives from the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) and senior management from Japan Space Systems.

This article is based on a press release by Headwall. To read the original article click here.


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