Hyperspectral imaging is a new analytical technique wherein multiple images for the same spatial area are collected in different wavelengths. Unlike our own eyes that contain only three types of colour receptors (red, green and blue), hyperspectral imaging divides the electromagnetic spectrum into many more bands. It analyses a wide spectrum of light and measures the spectrum of the light for each pixel in the image of a scene.
The hyperspectral camera captures the light through a lens and splits it into different spectral lengths using a dispersive element such as a prism or a diffraction grating. The cameras can be customised to meet application-specific performance, and the wavelength required.
The recorded spectra have fine wavelength resolution and cover a wide range of wavelengths. Therefore, hyperspectral imaging can collect and process more information than other methods of imaging. The information adds a third dimension of values to the two-dimensional spatial image. This generates a 3D-data cube which is called an image cube.
The algorithms and image processing strategies associated with hyperspectral imaging result from military research that focused on identifying targets and other objects against background clutter.
What are the applications of hyperspectral imaging?
Today, hyperspectral technology has become more available to the public and organisations, such as NASA.
Some of the most common applications of hyperspectral sensors and processing systems include:
- Hyperspectral imaging has recently gained popularity as a non-destructive and quick method for seed quality and safety assessment. It can help detect viability, vigour, defect, disease, cleanliness and seed composition determination. Evaluation of the seed quality is critical in plant breeding and production, and hyperspectral imaging facilitates many routine inspection tasks.
- This imaging method also helps in the detection of animal proteins in compound feeds to avoid the extremely rare brain disorder in adult cattle that may be spread to humans through diseased meat called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease.
- Researchers are also testing the use of hyperspectral photography to diagnose retinopathy and macular oedema before they damage the eyes. The hyperspectral camera can detect a drop in oxygen consumption in the retina, indicating potential disease.
- The use of hyperspectral remote sensing is well developed in the mineral industry, and many minerals can be identified with the help of airborne images. Now, the researchers are trying to understand the relationship between oil and gas leakages from pipelines and natural wells.
- Food processing
- Combined with intelligent software, hyperspectral imaging in the food industry can help identify and remove defects and foreign material. The in-depth inspection and elimination of foreign material enhance product quality and yields.
At Universe Kogaku, we design and manufacture custom optical lenses in response to your unique needs. If you want our lens application engineers to design custom lenses for your hyperspectral camera, you can call us today at 1-516-624-2444. We will assist you with all of your design considerations.