A new approach for the design and fabrication of a miniaturized SWIR Hyperspectral imager is described.
Previously, good results were obtained with a VNIR Hyperspectral imager, by use of light propagation
within bonded solid blocks of fused silica. These designs use the Offner design form, providing excellent,
low distortion imaging. The same idea is applied to the SWIR Hyperspectral imager here, resulting in a
microHSITM SWIR Hyperspectral sensor, capable of operating in the 850-1700 nm wavelength range. The
microHSI spectrometer weighs 910 g from slit input to camera output. This spectrometer can
accommodate custom foreoptics to adapt to a wide range of fields-of-view (FOV). The current application
calls for a 15 degree FOV, and utilizes an InGaAs image sensor with a spatial format of 640 x 25 micron
pixels. This results in a slit length of 16 mm, and a foreoptics focal length of 61 mm, operating at F# = 2.8.
The resulting IFOV is 417 μrad for this application, and a spectral dispersion of 4.17 nm/pixel. A
prototype SWIR microHSI was fabricated, and the blazed diffraction grating was embedded within the
optical blocks, resulting in a 72% diffraction efficiency at the wavelength of 1020 nm. This spectrometer
design is capable of accommodating slit lengths of up to 25.6 mm, which opens up a wide variety of
applications. The microHSI concepts can be extended to other wavelength regions, and a miniaturized
LWIR microHSI sensor is in the conceptual design stage.