10 May 2016 High resolution hyperspectral imaging with a high throughput virtual slit
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Abstract
Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) device users often require both high spectral resolution, on the order of 1 nm, and high light-gathering power. A wide entrance slit assures reasonable étendue but degrades spectral resolution. Spectrometers built using High Throughput Virtual Slit™ (HTVS) technology optimize both parameters simultaneously. Two remote sensing use cases that require high spectral resolution are discussed. First, detection of atmospheric gases with intrinsically narrow absorption lines, such as hydrocarbon vapors or combustion exhaust gases such as NOx and CO2. Detecting exhaust gas species with high precision has become increasingly important in the light of recent events in the automobile industry. Second, distinguishing reflected daylight from emission spectra in the visible and NIR (VNIR) regions is most easily accomplished using the Fraunhofer absorption lines in solar spectra. While ground reflectance spectral features in the VNIR are generally quite broad, the Fraunhofer lines are narrow and provide a signature of intrinsic vs. extrinsic illumination.

The High Throughput Virtual Slit enables higher spectral resolution than is achievable with conventional spectrometers by manipulating the beam profile in pupil space. By reshaping the instrument pupil with reflective optics, HTVS-equipped instruments create a tall, narrow image profile at the exit focal plane, typically delivering 5X or better the spectral resolution achievable with a conventional design.
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Edward A. Gooding, Thomas Gunn, Andrew T. Cenko, Arsen R. Hajian, "High resolution hyperspectral imaging with a high throughput virtual slit", Proc. SPIE 9860, Hyperspectral Imaging Sensors: Innovative Applications and Sensor Standards 2016, 98600C (10 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2224143; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2224143
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