Hyperspectral imaging from unmanned aerial vehicles arouses a growing interest, as well for agriculture management as pollution monitoring or security purposes. Most of current instruments are in the visible or near infrared spectral range, but the midwave or longwave infrared may also be interesting. Among the available solutions for compact imaging spectrometers in this spectral range, static imaging Fourier transform spectrometers are well adapted, thanks to the absence of moving part, a 2D snapshot imaging, which can be useful for image registration, and a high flux collection efficiency. To reach a high compactness compliant with small UAVs, birefringent interferometers are good candidates. Indeed, they can be roughly seen as a plate which comes in front of the camera lens.
We propose here firstly to expose the design rules of such instruments in the midwave or longwave infrared. The first point is about the material: highly birefringent uniaxial crystals materials are not so common in this spectral domain. For MWIR spectral imagers, TeO2 or YVO4 can be used. For LWIR instruments, current materials, like ZnGeP2 or AgGaS2 are available, but their birefringence is not so high. Calomel is a promising way, but not still available. The second point consists in defining the type of interferometer, like Savart interferometer, Wollaston interferometer, or other designs. To help this choice, we have developed a software tool to calculate the propagation of plane waves in a stack of birefringent plates. This allows us to choose the optimal assembly of the plates to reach the required spectral resolution.
We will then present experimental results obtained with a MWIR prototype. This prototype, called SIBI,, works in the [3.7µm-4.8µm] spectral domain (or [2050cm 1-2700cm 1]), with a spectral resolution about 13cm 1. A first ground campaign was led in June 2015, on Mount Etna (Italy). This campaign was useful to emphasize the assets and drawbacks of this instrument. Among the assets, we can quote the easiness to deploy this instrument, especially thanks to its small size, its light weight and its sturdiness. Among the difficulties that we have to face with, we can quote the presence of ghost fringes, which debased the final quality of the spectra. However solutions are available to prevent this difficulty. Finally, we will present the adaptation of SIBI to airborne campaigns, aboard a small UAV. This campaign is expected for August, 2016.
Armande Pola Fossi, Yann Ferrec, Nicolas Guerineau, Nicolas Roux, Emmanuel Kling, and Hervé Sauer, "Design of infrared imaging birefringent interferometers for small-UAVs and handheld scanning systems (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9992, Emerging Imaging and Sensing Technologies, 999208 (Presented at SPIE Security + Defence: September 28, 2016; Published: 13 December 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2241503.5229530023001.
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