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17 January 2006 Multi-spectral imaging with mid-infrared semiconductor lasers
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Multi-spectral laser imaging can be a useful technology for target discrimination, classification, and identification based on object spectral signatures. The mid-IR region (~3-14 μm) is particularly rich of molecular spectroscopic fingerprints, but the technology has been under utilized. Compact, potentially inexpensive semiconductor lasers may allow more cost-effective applications. This paper describes a development of semiconductor-laser-based multi-spectral imaging for both near-IR and mid-IR, and demonstrates the potential of this technology. The near-IR study employed 7 wavelengths from 0.635-1.55 μm, and used for system engineering evaluation as well as for studying the fundamental aspects of multi-spectral laser imaging. These include issues of wavelength-dependence scattering as a function of incident and receiving angle and the polarization effects. Stokes vector imaging and degree-of-linear-polarization were shown to reveal significant information to characterize the targets. The mid-IR study employed 4 wavelengths from 3.3-9.6 μm, and was applied to diverse targets that consist of natural and man-made materials and household objects. It was shown capable to resolve and distinguish small spectral differences among various targets, thanks to the laser radiometric and spectral accuracy. Colorless objects in the visible were shown with "colorful" signatures in the mid-IR. An essential feature of the study is an advanced system architecture that employs wavelength-division-multiplexed laser beams for high spectral fidelity and resolution. In addition, unlike conventional one-transmitter and one receiver design, the system is based on a scalable CDMA network concept with multiple transmitters and receivers to allow efficient information acquisition. The results suggest that multi-spectral laser imaging in general can be a unique and powerful technology for wide ranging applications.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Yi Wang, Yang Wang, and Han Q. Le "Multi-spectral imaging with mid-infrared semiconductor lasers", Proc. SPIE 6062, Spectral Imaging: Eighth International Symposium on Multispectral Color Science, 60620C (17 January 2006);

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