Broad-spectrum hyperspectral imaging sensors and cameras

February 15, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
At an event called SPIE Photonics West (San Francisco), imec (Leuven, Belgium) is presenting hyperspectral sensor and camera solutions with extended spectral range, going from the visible light (VIS) up to near infrared (NIR).

A line-scan VNIR (visible to near-infrared) sensor and snapshot mosaic VNIR camera outperform current solutions in spectral range and compactness, the research organisation says. Applications for the line-scan sensor include machine vision and remote sensing applications, such as precision agriculture using UAVs and satellites. It features 140+ discrete bands in the 470-900nm range. Its small form factor is the result of extreme integration of the hyperspectral filter onto the CMOS sensor.

“We developed a new process that enabled us to deposit spectral filter banks in both the visible and near infra-red range on the same CMOS sensor. This achievement extends our sensing solutions within medical, precision agriculture, remote sensing and industrial applications;” explains Andy Lambrechts, Program manager integrated vision solutions at imec.

Imec’s 450-875nm snapshot dual-sensor camera targets applications where dynamic effects are imaged: especially medical, machine vision and security surveillance. By integrating, within one single unified dual-sensor camera architecture, a 16-bands 4 x 4 mosaic sensor covering the 450-600 nm range together with a 25-bands 5 x 5 mosaic sensor covering the 600-875 nm range, imec created a solution that covers a broad spectral range from visible to near-infrared while maintaining high spatial and spectral resolution tradeoffs. That is; within the 4 x 4 or 5 x 5 matrix on the monolithic sensor, each ‘cell’ receives varying processing to be responsive to a different wavelength range.

“Working closely with two of our camera partners, VRmagic and Cubert Gmbh, we have realised one of the most advanced snapshot hyperspectral imaging cameras. It captures 40+ bands ranging from 450-875 nm, at video-rate speed acquisition... a new milestone for the real-time snapshot hyperspectral imaging camera market;” explains Jerome Baron, Business development manager integrated imaging at imec. The camera will be available for early sampling to strategic partners from April 2016.


Cubert gmbh;

Cubert GmbH is a high-tech start up from the university of Ulm founded 2011.