Hyperspectral imaging

What is hyperspectral imaging?

Hyperspectral imaging, or imaging spectroscopy, is a happy fusion of spectroscopy and imaging processing. Hyperspectral imaging can be seen either as an extension of classical image processing or an enhancement of classical spectroscopy.

The simplest case is to use a black and white camera that captures the grey-scale values of objects. This yields a high surface resolution but no spectral information.

On the other hand, a color camera (with three image sensors or a sensor with Bayer color filter) delivers a multi-spectral image with comparably high spatial resolution and three relatively broad-band color channels of red, green and blue. The downside is that these channels have a relatively low spectral resolution.

Finally, a spectral imaging system that operates with just one sensor and a tunable narrow-band filter placed in the optical path to select a frequency. Alternatively, it functions as a so-called push-broom scanner to perform a line-based scan. For every pixel in every line, the spectrum is captured and stored.

Both methods use significantly more color channels. This is why they are called hyperspectral. They deliver high spatial resolution and, at the same time, high spectral resolution. The measured data of the X- and Y-coordinates and the radiation components at certain frequencies are located in a three-dimensional data space (cube).

What is hyperspectral imaging used for?

Hyperspectral imaging proves its worth in the acquisition of geological parameters from the air or by satellite. It is, for example, used to examine the water quality of lakes. On a microscopic scale, the method can be applied for multi-channel spectral analysis of light-emitting semiconductors, or in bio-medical and chemical sample analysis. Furthermore, hyperspectral imaging is perfectly suited for industrial process monitoring in waste sorting, fruit and vegetable inspection, moisture measurements, fat analysis, web inspection, … and many more applications.

What do we offer?

Some hyperspectral applications require high-speed SWIR imaging. For these applications, we offer our area-scan SWIR cameras. The Cheetah-640-CL SWIR InGaAs camera features a frame rate up to 1730 Hz at 640 x 512 pixels.

For applications where cost, size and power are critical, our Bobcat-Series offers a solution with no compromises on quality. In this line we offer the Bobcat-320, Bobcat-320-Gated, Bobcat-640-CL and Bobcat-640-GigE SWIR InGaAs camera. 

What features are needed?

  • High image resolution
    The amount of pixels has an important impact on the image. The higher the resolution, the more detail your image contains
  • High frame rate
    High frame rates allow us to capture fast moving objects
  • Small pixel size
    A smaller pixel size results in smaller detectors - resulting in lower sensor production costs, smaller optics and eventually smaller cameras
  • Low noise level and high dynamic range
    A low noise level assures a high sensitivity, while a high dynamic range results in a high image contrast
  • Sensor temperature stabilization or cooling
    A cooled SWIR camera has a lower dark current, reaches lower noise levels and has a higher dynamic range. Several SWIR cameras in our product range are TE1-stabilized, TE1-cooled, TE3-cooled or TE4-cooled
  • Easy connectivity
    We offer several different interfaces for an easy integration into your system
  • Low power consumption
    Power consumption can be an issue when integrating cameras into a system. Our infrared cameras consume very little power and are therefore easy to integrate

Are you looking for more information? 

Let us know. We are happy to help.

Contact us


Application notes
Xeva-1.7-320 VisNIR for hyperspectral imaging, nightvision, wavefront sensing and laser detection The Xeva-1.7-320 VisNIR camera feels at home in a wide variety of applications. This application note goes deeper into detail on hyperspectral imaging, nightvision, wavefront sensing for optics and laser detection.
Press Releases
At Photonics West 2009 we demonstrate our latest Cheetah and Gobi cameras for demanding scientific applications Xenics exhibits its latest Cheetah and Gobi cameras for highly demanding scientific applications, including spectroscopy, hyperspectral and thermal imaging (2009)
Headwall Photonics selects Xenics as strategic alliance partner Headwall Photonics extends their product range with the Hyperspec-SWIR sensor, featuring a Xenics MCT array (2005)

World's first InGaAs camera photon emission microscope

Xenics enabled Semicaps to realize the world's first InGaAs camera photon emission microscope in 2004. Since then Xenics and sInfraRed have supported us in our endeavors for better sensitivity and resolution in photon and thermal emission microscopy.

Chua Choon Meng, CEO Semicaps