Hyperspectral imaging camera merges snapshot and linescan technologies

February 02, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
Research centre imec (Leuven, Belgium) has used the occasion of the SPIE Photonics West exhibition and conference, this week (2nd February 2017) in to make a series of product and IP announcements related to its imaging sensor developments. The latest is of the snapscan camera.

The snapscan camera is presented as a 'breakthrough', proprietary system concept platform that combines a good signal to noise ratio with spatial and spectral resolution advantages of linescan hyperspectral imaging technology and the ability to acquire data-sets as easily as with a snapshot camera.


Based on the experience that was built up supporting different application types using both linescan and snapshot hyperspectral systems, imec has brought its system-level hardware and software expertise together to create the snapscan camera concept. The snapscan exploits the high spectral and spatial resolution of imec’s hyperspectral linescan sensor, without the need for any external scanning movement: scanning is handled internally, using a miniaturized scanning stage. Full hyperspectral images can be acquired in a matter of a few seconds.


Currently, the maximal RAW spatial resolution that is possible to reach is 3650 x 2048 px (7 Mpx), with a spectral resolution of 150+ spectral bands within the 470-900 nm (visible to near-infrared, VNIR) wavelength range. Flat signal-to-noise ratios, as high as 200 over the full spectral range, have already been demonstrated thanks to software features that optimize the reconstruction and correction of hyperspectral data cubes.


“We believe our snapscan camera technology will significantly open up the market for hyperspectral imaging research and development, thanks to its incredible simplicity to create high quality datasets, essential for application validation and building spectral libraries” explains Jerome Baron, business development manager for imec’s integrated imaging and vision system teams. “We see many additional opportunities beyond the R&D market, especially in applications like digital microscopy for pathology and cytogenetics, medical imaging for endoscopy, wound diagnostics and guided surgery, as well as in precision agriculture for unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) robotics”.

This image shows RGB true colour rendering from imec snapscan hyperspectral imaging software with plotted spectra and classified image of various pharmaceutical pill samples.


imec; www.imec.be