Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Headwall Partner Purdue U to Help Develop Internet of Things for Precision Agriculture

$26 million National Science Foundation grant for commercializing sensor technologies such as hyperspectral imaging for digital agriculture

Bolton, Massachusetts, August 12, 2020 – Headwall Photonics, a world leader in hyperspectral imaging systems and solutions, announced today that a close technology partner, Purdue University, has been chosen by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a key member of a new Engineering Research Center (ERC) dedicated to significant improvements in agriculture as a part of ensuring long-term food, energy, and water security.

The NSF ERC for the Internet of Things for Precision Agriculture (IoT4Ag) unites faculty and students from the University of Pennsylvania, Purdue University, the University of California at Merced, and the University of Florida with government and industry partners. Staff will utilize technology such as Headwall ‘s hyperspectral sensors integrated onto unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems to create data-driven models to capture and analyze plant physiology, soil properties, management and environmental variations.

“We are excited about our partnership and we look forward to continuing our work with Headwall to maximize the impact and success of IoT4Ag ‘s technologies, education, and diversity, equity, and inclusion activities,” says Melba Crawford, the Nancy Uridil and Francis Bossu Professor in Civil Engineering, and professor of agronomy and electrical and computer engineering at Purdue.

“The ERC will also leverage Purdue ‘s commitment to plant science and our focus on digital agriculture. We are excited about the collaboration with our university and industrial partners to advance technology in environmental sensing, robotics, and data science in precision agriculture to help meet the demands for food production in the upcoming decades.”

David Bannon, President & CEO of Headwall, is equally enthusiastic: “This is one of the more prestigious and impactful partnerships that we have undertaken. A core strength of our company is providing remote-sensing solutions for customers within the agritech community. We also look forward to applying Headwall spectral imaging solutions to important problem areas to drive improved crop yield and enhanced phenotype resiliency.”

About the College of Agriculture at Purdue University
Purdue University ‘s College of Agriculture is one of the world ‘s leading colleges of agricultural, food, life, and natural resource sciences. As a land-grant institution, we are committed to preparing our students to make a difference, wherever their careers take them; stretching the frontiers of science to find solutions to some of our most pressing global challenges; and, through Purdue Extension and engagement programs, helping the people of Indiana, the nation and the world improve their lives and livelihoods.

About The NSF ERC IoT4Ag
The NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) program supports convergent research, education, and technology translation at U.S. universities that will lead to strong societal impacts. Each ERC has interacting foundational components that go beyond the research project, including engineering workforce development at all participant stages, a culture of diversity and inclusion where all participants gain mutual benefit, and value creation within an innovation ecosystem that will outlast the lifetime of the ERC. IoT4Ag seeks to ensure food, energy, and water security with new systems to increase crop production while minimizing energy and water use and environmental impacts of agricultural practices.

About Headwall
Based in Massachusetts, Headwall is a leading designer and manufacturer of complete spectral instrumentation solutions for remote sensing, advanced machine vision, and government/defense markets. With a worldwide base of end-user and OEM customers, Headwall enjoys a market leadership position through the design and manufacture of spectral solutions that are customized for application-specific performance. With a worldwide presence, Headwall maintains offices in 3 European locations and 1 office in Taiwan. For more information, visit

For more information, please contact:
Ross Nakatsuji
Marketing Communications Manager
580 Main Street
Bolton, Massachusetts 01740


Link to original Press Release