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  • Prototype Single-Lens Camera Improves Multispectral Imaging

Photonics.com
Jun 2016
DRESDEN, Germany, June 2, 2016 — A new, low-cost camera produces congruent images for two spectral ranges using multiple detectors through a single lens. The prototype has been shown to provide easier post-production of imaging data than existing multispectral imaging systems.

The system uses two image sensors behind a common lens, which was designed as a tilted mirror system and avoids the chromatic aberrations or central obscuration effects in current systems. Individual mirror surfaces were designed in a partially aspheric manner to correct geometric aberrations and were provided with coatings to ensure high reflectivity over a wide spectral range.

An image with visible and infrared spectral components taken with the single-lens, multi-spectral camera.
An image with visible and infrared spectral components taken with the single-lens, multi-spectral camera. Courtesy of Fraunhofer IPMS.

Because the system simultaneously captured parallax-free simultaneous images in different spectral ranges through a single lens, no second lens or elaborate post-processing of image data were necessary. The choice of the spectral range of the reflective optics is limited only by the detectors available, said researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) who designed the system.

“Using mirrors instead of lenses for the optical system not only provides the opportunity to replace commonly available camera systems, but also offers the chance for the creation of new applications for which weight and space are critical,” said Sebastian Meyer, Fraunhofer IPMS business unit manager.

Wideband spectrum imaging is preferred or required for many applications, as in industrial metrology, security systems monitoring airports, tunnels or train stations, automotive driver assistance systems, remote sensing and environmental analysis, or medical technologies. The IR range offers image information not provided by the visible range and is sought for such applications as quality control of electronics production, building services engineering and field monitoring.

The Fraunhofer IPMS team has integrated the lens and image sensors with electronics and software in a first functional demonstrator.


GLOSSARY
metrology
The science of measurement, particularly of lengths and angles.
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