Monolithic optics reduce SWaP for hyperspectral imager

Engineers have reduced the size, weight, and power requirements for a selectable hyperspectral airborne remote-sensing kit coherent hyperspectral-imaging system.

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By integrating a patented solid-optical-block spectrometer with a high-quantum-efficiency CMOS focal-plane-array (FPA)-based sensor, engineers at Corning Advanced Optics (Keene, NH) have reduced the size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements for the company's model 410 microHSI selectable hyperspectral airborne remote-sensing kit (SHARK) coherent hyperspectral-imaging (HSI) system. Designed specifically for integration with highly compact unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the 410 SHARK weighs only 1.6 lbs, occupies less than 5.4 × 3.5 × 2.8 in.3, consumes less than 19 W at 12 VDC, and is roughly half the price of comparable HSI systems.

Content Dam Lfw Print Articles 2017 07 1707lfw Nb F4

Compactness is achieved in the low-optical-aberration Offner relay spectrometer that integrates a high-efficiency convex diffraction grating (manufactured using a diamond-turning process) into a solid optical block.

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Aligned by design and manufacture and without air spacings and discrete optical components, the optical-block configuration significantly reduces optical path length and increases mechanical and thermal robustness, as well as improves transmission throughput for high signal-to-noise ratio and high spatial resolution. The 1936 × 1216 pixel FPA (5.86 μm pixel pitch) of the 410 SHARK yields a 28.6° field of view and 2 nm (maximum) spectral resolution across a 400–1000 nm wavelength range. Reference: R. Holasek et al., Proc. SPIE, 10213, 1021304 (May 22, 2017); doi:10.1117/12.2267856.

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