The DLP NIRscan Nano is an ultra-portable spectrometer evaluation module utilizing DLP technology to meet lower cost, smaller size, and higher performance than traditional architectures. The replacement of a linear array detector with DLP digital micromirror device (DMD) in conjunction with a single point detector adds the functionality of programmable spectral filters and sampling techniques that were not previously available on NIR spectrometers. This paper presents the hardware, software, and optical systems of the DLP NIRscan Nano and its design considerations on the implementation of a DLP-based spectrometer.
Designing the next generation of embedded compact, portable near-infrared (NIR) spectrometers while meeting aggressive cost and form factor targets requires novel technologies and creative system designs. New miniature spectrometer architectures are enabled by Texas Instruments DLP® technology. The ability to provide programmable spectral filters using high speed, accurate light modulation with a micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) based architecture enables systems with features and sampling techniques that were previously not possible. System design considerations and the latest developments in DLP spectrometer architectures will be presented.
The architecture of a Texas Instruments DLP spectrometer allows techniques of spectrum measurement through programmable patterns previously not possible by conventional spectrometers. Handheld applications or factory settings measuring dynamic product flow may have constraints on sampling methods which vary the amount of illumination entering the spectrometer. Factory monitoring and other in situ applications may have a priori knowledge of expected substances or contaminants and have stringent sampling speed requirements. By defining custom scan patterns and decoding techniques to take advantage of this information, we show that classic time-domain challenges of time-multiplexed sensing systems can be overcome in a DLP spectrometer yielding high performance in challenging applications.