Headwall has released Hyperspec, a hyperspectral imaging system, which is available in the UK through Photonics and Analytical Marketing.

Hyperspec systems are available with a range of cameras offering differing price/performance specifications and a full range of lenses for differing object distances. Wavelength ranges currently available are 400-1000nm, 900-1700nm and 1000-2500nm with other ranges under development.

Two dimensional spectral imaging or hyperspectral imaging uses a CCD camera coupled to a special spectrometer to enable the user to study both the normal image, or a false coloured image, of an object or scene, and in addition obtain the individual spectrum of any point in the image.

Originally developed for military applications scanning the ground from satellites or aircraft, the technique now has a huge range of industrial and scientific applications ranging from identifying labelled cancer cells viewed through an endoscope, through identifying different plastics in a recycling centre and identifying forged banknotes, to mapping of oil spills and pollution discharges. Typical industrial applications involve bulk material moving on conveyor lines for processing, while scientific applications consist of mounting the Hyperspec sensor on a microscope for the purpose of cellular spectroscopy.

Although the final displayed image shows the complete scene, this is built up in a series of narrow slices taken as the camera moves over the object or the object is moved under a fixed camera.  Alternatively a scanning mirror allows both camera and object to be fixed.

Each slice of information is recorded using the full camera detector array, but with the first column recording a narrow slice of the image and the rows recording the full spectrum for each pixel in the column.