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Device Allows Standard Cameras to Produce Hyperspectral Images

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A miniaturized hyperspectral device has been developed as an add-on for a standard camera and could be used to repurpose a camera for generating hyperspectral images and videos for a range of applications. The device uses compressive sampling techniques to capture signals and images from much fewer samples or measurements than the traditional sampling theorem that has been used for decades. 

Add-on device permits standard cameras to produce hyperspectral images. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
The device, developed by four BGU researchers, can repurpose a standard camera for a plethora of applications, including micro-detection of cancer cells or measuring contaminants in water, with close to 100 percent precision. Courtesy of Ben-Gurion U.

At only a few tens of microns wide, the device is easy to produce using commonly available materials such as liquid crystal. It was developed by a research team at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU).

“Instead of using a large and heavy prism inside the camera, we developed a very small tunable filter and sensor that are activated by electrical current,” said professor Dan Blumberg. “Every time the current changes, a photo is taken.”

According to researchers, the device provides close to 100 percent precision when used for micro-detection or measurement.

Professor Adrian Stern said, “The technology uses our software based on 'compressive sampling,' which minimizes collection of redundant data during image capture, making the camera at least 10 times faster, and creates spectral images of a markedly superior quality.”

This innovation could help lower the cost of hyperspectral imaging (HSI), making it more accessible for a variety of applications, including professional photography. It could also help expand the use of HSI technology in the electronic test and measurement instrument market.

Published: September 2017
Glossary
hyperspectral imaging
Hyperspectral imaging is an advanced imaging technique that captures and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum. Unlike traditional imaging systems that record only a few spectral bands (such as red, green, and blue in visible light), hyperspectral imaging collects data in numerous contiguous bands, covering a wide range of wavelengths. This extended spectral coverage enables detailed analysis and characterization of materials based on their spectral signatures. Key...
nano
An SI prefix meaning one billionth (10-9). Nano can also be used to indicate the study of atoms, molecules and other structures and particles on the nanometer scale. Nano-optics (also referred to as nanophotonics), for example, is the study of how light and light-matter interactions behave on the nanometer scale. See nanophotonics.
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