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3 June 2015 Low SWaP multispectral sensors using dichroic filter arrays
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The benefits of multispectral imaging are well established in a variety of applications including remote sensing, authentication, satellite and aerial surveillance, machine vision, biomedical, and other scientific and industrial uses. However, many of the potential solutions require more compact, robust, and cost-effective cameras to realize these benefits. The next generation of multispectral sensors and cameras needs to deliver improvements in size, weight, power, portability, and spectral band customization to support widespread deployment for a variety of purpose-built aerial, unmanned, and scientific applications. A novel implementation uses micro-patterning of dichroic filters1 into Bayer and custom mosaics, enabling true real-time multispectral imaging with simultaneous multi-band image acquisition. Consistent with color image processing, individual spectral channels are de-mosaiced with each channel providing an image of the field of view. This approach can be implemented across a variety of wavelength ranges and on a variety of detector types including linear, area, silicon, and InGaAs. This dichroic filter array approach can also reduce payloads and increase range for unmanned systems, with the capability to support both handheld and autonomous systems. Recent examples and results of 4 band RGB + NIR dichroic filter arrays in multispectral cameras are discussed. Benefits and tradeoffs of multispectral sensors using dichroic filter arrays are compared with alternative approaches – including their passivity, spectral range, customization options, and scalable production.
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John Dougherty and Ron Varghese "Low SWaP multispectral sensors using dichroic filter arrays", Proc. SPIE 9482, Next-Generation Spectroscopic Technologies VIII, 948215 (3 June 2015);

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