What is Hyperspectral Imaging?

Hyperspectral Imaging is a new analytical technique based on spectroscopy. It collects hundreds of images at different wavelengths for the same spatial area. While the human eye has only three color receptors in the blue, green and red, hyperspectral imaging measures the continuous spectrum of the light for each pixel of the scene with fine wavelength resolution, not only in the visible but also in the near-infrared. The collected data form a so-called hyperspectral cube, in which two dimensions represent the spatial extent of the scene and the third its spectral content.

What is Hyperspectral Imaging

Multispectral (left) imaging, only providing discrete and discontinuous portions of the spectral range. Hyperspectral (right) imaging, creating the hypercube using a large number of contiguous spectral bands. The result gives a complete spectrum for each pixel (xi, yi). Adapted from Luca Giannoni et al 2018 J. Opt. 20 044009


Each material possesses a specific spectral signature that can be employed as a ‘fingerprint’ for its unique identification. Therefore, hyperspectral imaging finds a wide range of applications in remote sensing, thanks to its standoff, label-free and non-destructive capability in recognizing the components of matter. Hyperspectral imaging is employed in different fields such as astronomy, agriculture, molecular biology, biomedical imaging, mineralogy, geology, physics, cultural heritage, food processing, environment and surveillance.

Advantages of NIREOS’ solution “HERA”:

HERA is the innovative Hyperspectral camERA designed by NIREOS. Based on NIREOS’ patented common-path interferometer, featuring intrinsic interferometric delay precision, long-term stability and insensitivity to vibrations, it provides superior sensitivity in a compact layout. It can be employed even in low-light illumination conditions, such as to record faint fluorescence spectra emitted by the different regions of a sample. While line-scanning (push-broom) hyperspectral cameras contain a slit and a grating, thus limiting the amount of light reaching the detector, HERA features a large clear aperture providing high throughput.

Want to know more about HERA? Click here