Summary of the technology
New snapshot spectral imaging camera for image processing and computerized vision applications
Project ID : 7-2013-535
Miniature Snapshot Spectral Imaging by using existing digital cameras without any changes; the only hardware change is the addition of a rather simple optical element in the form of a thin, phase-only optical diffuser. This may lead to a huge reduction (an order of magnitude) in existing spectral imager costs and allow wide penetration of spectral imaging "piggybacked" on smartphone cameras.
Key benefits that the technology offers: reduction in spectral data volume and cost by combination of optical and digital data processing and transmission; one shot or reduced number of shots by resorting to compressive spectral imaging with optically implemented “RIP diffuser".
Any regular miniature digital camera can be converted into a spectral imager that detects spectral "footprints" and provides spectral images without moving mechanical parts.
Need and Advantages
Challenges in existing spectral imagers: Complexity, high size/weight and cost, huge data volumes and sequential operation. Our technology is based on a regular digital camera (as in smartphones) with addition of a simple optical component external to the camera and use of sophisticated compressed sensing algorithms. A major advantage is that the camera sensor may be monochromatic, i.e. without mosaic filters.
Our spectral imagers will be much cheaper, much smaller in size and much simpler in construction than any known cameras used for this purpose today.
• Food process monitoring
• Medical imaging and diagnostics, medication control, telemedicine
• Cosmetics adaptation to skin
• Earth and environmental surveillance (including of crops), searching for mineral deposits, etc.
• Use on satellites (even micro-satellites) and planes or UAVs, where weight and size is a critical issue.
• Detection of gases, pollution, mold and mildew.
• Expanding the concept to IR range for unique applications.
Stage of Development
The layout of the optical system is almost identical to that of a conventional digital monochromatic camera, and differs by a diffuser which is placed at the entrance pupil. Experimental proof-of concept shown and described in a recently submitted publication (see below).
• US Patent 9013691, "Snapshot spectral imaging based on digital cameras"
• US Patent 8081244, "Snapshot spectral imaging systems and methods"
• US patent application 20150192465, "Snapshot spectral imaging based on digital cameras"
• PCT patent application WO 2014203151, "Apparatus and method for snapshot spectral imaging"
• PCT patent application WO 2015019251, "Color imaging using a monochromatic digital camera".
"Compressed sensing snapshot spectral imaging by a regular digital camera with an added optical diffuser", Applied Optics, 55(3), 432-443 (2016)