Development of a Long-Wave Infrared Imaging Spectrometer

Period of Performance: 09/29/1998 - 09/29/2000


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Surface Optics Corp.
11555 Rancho Bernardo Road
San Diego, CA 92127
Principal Investigator


A program to develop a long-wave infrared (LWIR) infrared imaging spectrometer for use in nondestructive inspection (NDI) is proposed. Under Phase I of an SBIR contract, we will investigate feasibility of an LWIR imaging spectrometer, explore its specific NDI applications, and develop a preliminary design for the instrument. Under Phase II, the instrument will be designed in detail and then built and tested. Surface Optics Corporation has already developed a unique system based on a common processor unit and multiple imaging heads. By virtue of its patents, it is the only byperspectral system capable of real-time acquisition combined with real-time spectral processing available on the market. VIS-NIR heads have been built, and a SWIR-MWIR head is under development for the U.S Army ARDEC. Under the proposed program, LWIR imaging spectroradiometry capability will be provided in a cost-effective manner to ARDEC by developing an LWIR head for the system already to be delivered under the in-place SWIR-MWIR contract. The system has high commercialization potential, as demonstrated by a number of specific applications - both NDI and non-NDI - being explored by SOC and others. BENEFITS: Efficient spectral imaging, with real-time; processing and decision making, to solve numerous NDI problems, including surface contamination in manufacturing or repair processes, paint and coating quality control, variations in material composition and microstructure on a production line, and maintenance-depot inspection of low-observable surface treatments. Non-NDI potential applications include remote sensing, geophysics, target discrimination, environmental monitoring, and land mine clearing.