Hyperspectral Scanner

A low-cost hyperspectral scanner for natural imaging above and under water

By N Nevala and T Baden.

Hyperspectral imaging is a widely used technology for industrial and scientific purposes, but the high cost and large size of commercial setups have made them impractical for most basic research. Here, we designed and implemented a fully open source and low-cost hyperspectral scanner based on a commercial spectrometer coupled to custom optical, mechanical and electronic components. We demonstrate our scanner’s utility for natural imaging in both terrestrial and underwater environments.

Our design provides sub-nm spectral resolution between 350-1000 nm, including the UV part of the light spectrum which has been mostly absent from commercial solutions and previous natural imaging studies. By comparing the full light spectra from natural scenes to the spectral sensitivity of animals, we show how our system can be used to identify subtle variations in chromatic details detectable by different species.

In addition, we have created an open access database for hyperspectral datasets collected from natural scenes in the UK and India. Together with comprehensive online build- and use-instructions, our setup provides an inexpensive and customisable solution to gather and share hyperspectral imaging data.

 


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