What is hyperspectral imaging?

Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is an emerging scientific technique that allows users to acquire both spectral and spatial data from a target sample in the same data set. This data set, known as a data cube, can be analyzed for a wide variety of information. In the spectral dimension, there is qualitative, quantitative and color information. In the spatial dimension there is information for size and shape analysis, distribution analysis and statistics. Although hyperspectral imaging has been around for a while, it is only recently that an increasing number of new applications and lower cost system components have come into the market to make this technique more accessible.

There are two basic types of hyperspectral imaging systems: staring arrays and push-broom imagers. The first type has a 2D detector array looking at a scene one wavelength at a time. The wavelengths are changed in sequence with a tunable filter, and over time, the whole hypercube is assembled. The push-broom hyperspectral imaging system consists of an imaging spectrograph and a 2D detector array. It provides three outstanding advantages for hyperspectral imaging:

  1. All wavelengths are acquired at exactly the same time. Thus, the movement of the sample does not adversely affect the spectral image.
  1. The light throughput in a push-broom imager is 15 to 30 times higher than the tunable filter approach. This results in shorter image exposure time (higher image rate) for similar illumination conditions.
  1. Push-broom imaging only requires line illumination on the sample. The appropriate line illumination allows much higher light intensity directed at the sample, thus improving the signal-to-noise ratio. At the same time, the overall heat load on the sample is greatly reduced.

At Middleton Spectral Vision, we use the push-broom imaging approach. 

What are the applications for hyperspectral imaging?

What are the key components for a hyperspectral imaging system?

Contact us with your questions



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