HySpex by NEO hyperspectral cameras

HySpex by NEO hyperspectral cameras

written by Lexie Henderson-Lancett, Raymax Lasers (Raymax Applications Pty Ltd)

Developed in Norway originally for military use, HySpex hyperspectral imaging cameras have extensive capability to capture unique data.  Hyperspectral imaging combines the power of digital imaging and spectroscopy. A regular camera shows only a single colour for each pixel in an image, a HySpex camera collects data (radiance) from hundreds of spectral bands. Once the imaging data is captured HySpex offers processing software that can be tailored to many different uses. For example, being able to classify and quantify objects in real time such as scanning fish fillets for the presence of nematodes before sending them to market allows for real-time checking and sorting; or scanning cocoa beans for grading prior to export; or, scanning to determine the concentration and homogeneity of chemical components in pharmaceutical pills and powders; or, for research purposes, examining powders in a laboratory then using the data gathered to apply multivariant analysis techniques to understand chemical information provides a useful tool for research and university use.

Industry applications in Europe has seen the wide use of hyperspectral imaging in recycling of paper and plastics. Mounting a HySpex camera above a moving conveyor belt to capture the spatial and spectral image of each plastic types will reveal properties that can’t be identified by the human eye or even an RGB camera. Commonly used plastics such as PET, HPDE, LDPE, LLPDE, or PVC all have unique properties that can be captured by a hyperspectral camera classifying the different types to improve sorting. This is particularly useful where plastics are to be recycled into bio-oils using advanced recycling processes. Some 74% of paper consumed in Europe is recycled. Where complex waste mixtures arrive at the sorting plant traditional recycling is labour intensive and slow. Hyperspectral imaging can be used to speed up the recycling process by aiding the sorting process as it distinguishes between different paper types and finishes.

The range of hyperspectral cameras developed by HySpex NEO can be used in a laboratory, in the field, and mounted to a UAV. In a field situation, mounted on a tripod spectral scanning can assist in identifying metal composition of sites for planned extraction in open-pit mining. Using VNIR and SWIR cameras hyperspectral data has been gathered to identify the presence of Rare Earth Elements (REE) minerals and elements found in rock outcrops, rock samples and drill cores.

his new application will support the demand for minerals such as Neodymium predicted to grow exponentially. HySpex cameras are designed to operate in the field by preserving the spectral fidelity needed for scientific and industrial applications with their low-value optical aberrations, thermal stability and custom lenses for a variety of working distances. The portable field system utilizes a battery-based, rugged data acquisition unit to power and control the cameras as well as the necessary moving stages.

Hyperspectral cameras on UAV’s open more doors. The HySpex Mjolnir hyperspectral imaging system for UAVs provides a unique combination of small form factor and low mass, combined with high-performance specifications and scientific grade data quality. The Mjolnir can be applied to survey fields to check earth quality or growth patterns of crops, or for data acquisition of unique geological features. Understanding tree growth patterns in bush or forest settings is possible with airborne hyperspectral imaging. Mounted in an aircraft, relying data to a ground location, vegetation species can be classified, or re-growth checked from bushfire or dieback damage. Advanced hyperspectral cameras are able to facilitate data acquisition at high resolution in many settings. Analysing the data using software tools are provided by HySpex, along with training and support.

And in the NEWS – HySpex NEO is about to launch a camera for microsatellites. With co-funding from the Norwegian Space Agency in 2020 and 2021, NEO made a preliminary design for a SWIR HySpex hyperspectral imager suitable for a microsatellite. Creating a high-performance, small platform compatible HIS, is challenging. One of the goals of the development is to devise an HSI that surpasses the common limitations introduced by small satellite platforms and provide hyperspectral data better than what is currently available for free from larger instruments.

At Raymax, we are very excited about this new development, but it just adds to the great uses already available today. If you want to talk about a HySpex camera join us at the Modern Manufacturing Expo on 20-21 September and meet Dr Cédric Chaminade!



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