At the heart of a hyperspectral system is the spectral camera. A spectral camera combines optical spectroscopy with digital image processing. The spectral camera consists of a 2-dimensional array detector, such as a CCD or CMOS camera, that is mounted to an imaging spectrograph. In a push-broom configuration, the sample is illuminated in a line across the spatial axis (y-axis) of the detector. Each line on the spatial axis contains the full spectrum from the spectral axis (x-axis). The hyperspectral data-cube is built line by line over a given set of exposures.
The next key component is having the proper lens for the spectral camera. A high quality lens is very important. Careful attention to the following specifications will ensure best performance from the spectral camera.
Push-broom hyperspectral imaging systems require that the sample be scanned when acquiring the data. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. You can move the camera to scan the sample. Some examples of this would be mounting the scanner in an aircraft or having a pan and tilt system. The sample can also be moved in front of the spectral camera. The most common way of doing this is by using a scanner or stage to move the sample.
Broadband light sources are typically used in hyperspectral systems. It is important to use an efficient light source that is uniform over the desired spectral range. As was noted earlier, there are a number of spectral camera options optimized for different areas of the electromagnetic spectrum; matching the correct illumination source for the wavelength range is critical.
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