The NIR Community from ASD Inc., a Malvern Panalytical company

2017 ASD Webinar Season Series Summary

December 27, 2017


This year, ASD continued our webinar series initiative whereby we invited some of our well known ASD instrument users and customers to share and discuss their various and diverse application uses.

From Mars and malt barley to mosquitoes and postmortem bones, here is a look back at the interesting applications that made up ASD's 2017 webinar series (click on the image to watch the webinar on-demand!):   



Albedo Spatial Variability and Causes on the Western Greenland Ice Sheet Percolation Zone - Goetz Program Report

May 25, 2017

By Gabriel Lewis, PhD candidate, Department of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire (US).

Image from GreenTrACS Video (

The stability of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in a warming world is a critical research area with societally important implications for future sea level rise, with projected GrIS sea level contributions of at least 20 cm by 21001,2. Previous studies conclude that GrIS mass loss has been accelerating over the past decade, but spatial and temporal variations in GrIS mass balance remain poorly understood due to a complex relationship among precipitation and temperature changes, surface melt, runoff, ice discharge3, and surface albedo4. Satellite measurements indicate that albedo, the proportion of incoming solar radiation that is reflected by the glacier surface, has been declining over the past decade5,6, but the cause of the GrIS albedo change remains poorly constrained by field data. As fresh snow (albedo > 0.85)7 warms and melts, its albedo decreases due to snow grain growth, promoting solar absorption, higher snowpack temperatures and further melt8. However, dark impurities like soot and dust can also significantly reduce snow albedo, even in the dry snow zone2.

3 Reasons to Visit ASD at the AGU Fall Meeting 2016

December 02, 2016


This year’s annual AGU® Fall Meeting, to be held December 12-16 in San Francisco, California, has an expected attendance of 24,000! The event will host many of the world's most respected Earth and space scientists, and showcase the latest discoveries, trends, and challenges in the field. ASD is excited to be a part of this year’s event, participating with both a booth (#219) and a demo suite (MR1); ASD will be in the Exhibit Hall demonstrating the use of our FieldSpec® 4 and TerraSpec® Halo Mineral Identifier instruments.

2016 ASD Webinar Season Series Summary

November 30, 2016

This year, ASD began a webinar series initiative whereby we invited some of our well known ASD spectrometer instrument users and customers to share and discuss their various and diverse application uses.

ASD is proud to be a global organization with an instrument install base representing over 60 countries worldwide. Education, communication and the sharing of information amongst our global base of ASD users is something that we would like to see and encourage more of future forward; thus, ASD is quite pleased that the no-charge informative webinars that we have provided and created for in 2016 have been successful in both beginning conversations and in attracting a crowd of interested registrants eager to hear and learn more!

We are truly appreciative; ASD would like to extend a LARGE thank you to our webinar speakers, our channel partners and all of the individuals who participated as registrants!

ASD is excited to announce that we will be continuing this webinar series in 2017. Please email us at and let us know what you would like to see, and/or if you have interest in sharing your ASD instrument application on a webinar!

"It's not easy being green": a spectroscopic study of green pigments used in illuminated manuscripts

November 09, 2016

ASD’s November webinar speakers use an ASD FieldSpec® 4 instrument to non-invasively characterize paint mixtures, recipes and glazes used in historic pieces of art work and manuscripts. Using near infrared (NIR) technology, large amounts of data with comprehensive results are able to be acquired in short amounts of time with no damage to the analyzed object.

Timeline summarizing green pigments and mixtures identified on analyzed French manuscripts


Want to learn more? Read Dr. Paola Ricciardi’s article, “‘It’s not easy being green’: a spectroscopic study of green pigments used in illuminated manuscripts,” available for download on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s website here.


What is an Illuminated Manuscript?

November 03, 2016

An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration or illustration, such as decorated initials, borders and miniatures. Illumination was costly and complex for surviving manuscripts from the Middle Ages and Renaissance period, and was therefore usually reserved for special books like an altar Bible, for example. Illuminated manuscripts are artistically significant and maintain historic ancient text documents by preserving their informative value.

Another First for the Agricultural Research Council in Pretoria, South Africa!

September 06, 2016

Eric Economon, of the Agricultural Research Council in Pretoria, South Africa, is a man of firsts. Eric bought the first ASD instrument sold in South Africa over a decade ago.  And now, with his brand new FieldSpec® 4, Eric is the first South African customer to purchase an ASD instrument through our new partner, PANalytical-South Africa. Eric uses a variety of remote sensing and ground truthing techniques to monitor the biology of South Africa, sometimes in very remote areas. He uses the FieldSpec 4 to ground truth invasive biological species that can affect South Africa's agricultural market. Congrats on your new purchase, Eric!

Want to learn more about how spectrometers can be used to increase your agricultural output?  Join us for our free webinar to learn more about analyzing and groundtruthing soil characteristics!

Join our September Webinar


Pictured above (left to right): Chris Sherry, ASD Sr Manager; Eric Economon, Agricultural Research Council; Wynand Smit, Director- PANalytical - South Africa

Join us for our next free webinar - Analyzing and Groundtruthing Soil Characteristics

August 23, 2016

Our 2016 webinar series focuses on one ASD spectroscopy application each month.

If you haven't watched each of our previous webinars, visit our webinar recordings page to see what you missed. Some of our past topics include: NIR, Metamorphic Petrology, and Remote Sensing, On-orbit Sensor Absolute Radiometric Calibration for Earth Remote Sensing, and Adventures in Albedo.

This September, our webinar focuses on the application of soil characteristics. 

In this webinar you will learn:

  • How (and why) water alters the spectral reflectance of soil
  • The importance of the location of water in the soil
  • Nutrient and organic matter analysis of soil
  • UAS sensor calibration using an ASD instrument
  • Groundtruthing a UAS sensor using an ASD instrument

High throughput precision phenotyping (HTPP) in durum wheat: physiological basis and tools for selection - Goetz Program Report

May 25, 2016

By Omar Vergara Diaz, PhD candidate; Dr. Shawn Carlisle Kefauver, post-doctoral researcher; Dr. Jose Luis Araus, professor. Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Spain.

A FieldSpec 4 equipment was kindly provided by ASD Alexander Goetz Instrument Program and it was intended for supporting our studies of the ecophysiological and agronomic characterisation of durum wheat in field conditions. The general objective of our research is to develop high-throughput phenotyping techniques and to deepen the physiological and molecular basis involved in the adaptive response of durum wheat across a wide range of environmental conditions.

For this aim, a panel of 24 semi-dwarf genotypes (post- Green Revolution) of durum wheat marketed in Spain over the past four decades are used as a retrospective study. The panel was cultivated under conditions of rainfed and supplemental irrigation at two field stations in Colmenar de Oreja (Madrid) belonging to the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA) of Spain, in Zamadueñas (Valladolid) belonging to the Castilla y León Institute of Technology and Agriculture (ITACyL) and in rainfed conditions in Coria del Río (Seville) also belonging to INIA. Thus a wide range of latitudes was covered from northern to southern Spain.

Studying Mars mineralogy with an ASD FieldSpec - on Earth

April 20, 2016

By Dr. Jessica Flahaut (Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon, France), Dr. Janice Bishop (SETI Institute, California), Mélissa Martinot (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Nicci Potts (the Open University, United Kingdom and 2015 Goetz Program awardee), Dr. Simone Silvestro (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy) and collaborators G.R. Davies, D. Tedesco, I. Daniel and C. Quantin (see references).

This project was funded by a NWO (Netherlands Science Organization) VENI fellowship attributed to Dr. Jessica Flahaut. Dr. Janice Bishop is grateful for support from the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

The identification and characterization of hydrated minerals, within ancient aqueous environments on Mars, are a high priority for determining the past habitability of the red planet. Few studies, however, have focused on characterizing entire mineral assemblages as this is often difficult to determine from remote sensing data, even though this could aide our understanding of past environments. This is especially true for the sulfate-rich deposits, which are thought to mark a transition to more acidic conditions at the Martian surface about 3.5 Ga. This transition would coincide with a period of global climate change. As a result, quantitative constraints on Martian habitability during the ‘Mars global change’ era remain poor.

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