5 September 2017 Imaging spectroscopy using embedded diffractive optical arrays
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Abstract
Pacific Advanced Technology (PAT) has developed an infrared hyperspectral camera based on diffractive optic arrays. This approach to hyperspectral imaging has been demonstrated in all three infrared bands SWIR, MWIR and LWIR. The hyperspectral optical system has been integrated into the cold-shield of the sensor enabling the small size and weight of this infrared hyperspectral sensor. This new and innovative approach to an infrared hyperspectral imaging spectrometer uses micro-optics that are made up of an area array of diffractive optical elements where each element is tuned to image a different spectral region on a common focal plane array. The lenslet array is embedded in the cold-shield of the sensor and actuated with a miniature piezo-electric motor. This approach enables rapid infrared spectral imaging with multiple spectral images collected and processed simultaneously each frame of the camera. This paper will present our optical mechanical design approach which results in an infrared hyper-spectral imaging system that is small enough for a payload on a small satellite, mini-UAV, commercial quadcopter or man portable. Also, an application of how this spectral imaging technology can easily be used to quantify the mass and volume flow rates of hydrocarbon gases. The diffractive optical elements used in the lenslet array are blazed gratings where each lenslet is tuned for a different spectral bandpass. The lenslets are configured in an area array placed a few millimeters above the focal plane and embedded in the cold-shield to reduce the background signal normally associated with the optics. The detector array is divided into sub-images covered by each lenslet. We have developed various systems using a different number of lenslets in the area array. Depending on the size of the focal plane and the diameter of the lenslet array will determine the number of simultaneous different spectral images collected each frame of the camera. A 2 x 2 lenslet array will image four different spectral images of the scene each frame and when coupled with a 512 x 512 focal plane array will give spatial resolution of 256 x 256 pixel each spectral image. Another system that we developed uses a 4 x 4 lenslet array on a 1024 x 1024 pixel element focal plane array which gives 16 spectral images of 256 x 256 pixel resolution each frame. This system spans the SWIR and MWIR bands with a single optical array and focal plane array.
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Michele Hinnrichs, Michele Hinnrichs, Bradford Hinnrichs, Bradford Hinnrichs, } "Imaging spectroscopy using embedded diffractive optical arrays", Proc. SPIE 10402, Earth Observing Systems XXII, 104020G (5 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2272420; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2272420
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