Essay On Spectcopying

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Spectral imaging, which enables collection of more color information than a typical camera, reveals the properties of tissues or other biological material that the naked eye would miss. Scientists from several universities in China have teamed up to design a new smartphone-compatible device that enables easy and economical acquisition of spectral images of ordinary objects, with potential applications in point-of-care medical diagnosis.

The device could be used for detecting oxygen saturation in a patient’s blood, determining whether meat is fresh and even the level of freshness, as well as identifying fruits that are perfectly ripe among other applications. It could also make it easier to collect spectral data for scientific studies in
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The scientists say all components used are available commercially and can be acquired for a total of less than US$300. For the light source, they used an array of white light LEDs, which they connected to an optical lens tube that carries the CMOS detector and other optical parts necessary for spectral imaging.

The spectrometer is held like a pencil and moved across the target area to scan and image an object. Through this manual push-broom scanning method, a sequence of spectral images is accumulated. The pictures are then sent to a computer or smartphone where software compiles the data into a 3D spectral image data cube.

The research team tested the spectrometer on bananas to detect ripeness and on a piece of pork to detect levels of myoglobin – the iron-rich protein that gives meat its color. They also tried it on a human hand, obtaining 200 spectral images in the form of a 16-second video. The 3D spectral models enabled the scientists to distinguish the palm and five fingers and see the distribution of hemoglobin in various parts of the hand.

What's next?

The scientists from China expressed their interest in perfecting the compact imaging spectrometer for use in monitoring the environment. “Currently, we are developing distributed spectral cameras that could help conduct a
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