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HyperSpectral Imaging

Hyperspectral Imaging
Products and Services

HySpex Cameras

Link to HySpex Overview Page

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Hyperspectral Products

Hyperspectral Cameras

The HySpex(TM) line of hyperspectral cameras are a result of the knowledge and experience accumulated through more than a decade (starting in 1995) of research activities in the field of imaging spectroscopy at NEO. The spectrometer design is flexible, and the specifications and performance can be tailored to the user's requirements and needs. Four different versions of the spectrometer are currently available with the following main specifications:









Si CCD 1600*1200



MCT (HgCdTe)


Spectral range





Spatial pixels





FOV across track





Pixel FOV across track/ along track

~0.5mrad/ 0.5mrad

~0.185mrad/ 0.37mrad

0.75mrad/ 0.75mrad



Spectral sampling





# spectral bands










Frame rate to HD





Due to continuous development, the specifications are subject to changes.

The HySpex camera is a line imager, meaning that all spectra across a spatial line in the image are recorded simultaneously. Some form of scanning, depending on the application, is used to record sequential lines, building up a hyperspectral image with two spatial dimensions. The scanning can be done by either camera movement (e.g. aircraft) or movement of the scene (e.g. conveyer belt).

All the HySpex cameras perform very well in terms of the characteristics commonly used to describe the quality of hyperspectral line imagers:

  • Spatial resolution
  • Spectral resolution
  • Spectral keystone
  • Smile effect
  • Alignment of sensor, slit and dispersive element
  • Responsivity
  • Stray light
  • Second order suppression
  • Sensor characteristics
  • Radiometric accuracy

All the spectrometer modules are based on the same general architecture, with lenses and gratings separately optimized for the different modules.

The fore-optics and collimating optics is based on a special configuration of two aspherical mirrors. This unique design avoids introduction of spherical and chromatic aberrations before the grating, and at the same time minimizes stray light. The transmission grating is polarization independent and has been chosen among a large selection tested gratings. The lens system for final focus is optimized for minimization and equalization of the point spread function across the FOV and spectral range. Additionally, spectral keystone and smile effects are only a small fraction of a pixel. The optical performance is nearly diffraction limited, as can be seen on the figure. A detailed tolerance analysis has been performed, ensuring that the tolerances of the optical and mechanical parts are specified sufficiently tight in order to make sure that the real performance is close to the simulated performance. The spectrometer modules are extremely rugged with no moving parts.

A detailed experimental characterization is performed for each camera to verify that the performance is according to the specifications. The results of this characterization are documented in a detailed test report which follows each instrument. The end user thus has full access to all relevant performance characteristics.

All the cameras are also spectrally and radiometrically calibrated. The basic output of the systems is thus a radiance spectrum in W/(m^2 nm sr) for each pixel in the image.

Dedicated image processing algorithms can be implemented to provide an output tailored for a specific application (anomaly detection images, thematic maps, etc), possibly in real time for e.g. on-line applications.

Airborne systems

NEO can supply airborne hyperspectral camera systems based on all the above mentioned standard hyperspectral cameras, either separately or in combination. A delivery of an airborne system can include a navigation system (IMU and GPS) to allow direct georeferencing of the images based on continuous logging of the position and attitude data for the camera. Software for post processing of the navigational data can be included. The systems can also be designed to interface with the customers existing navigational hardware.


This picture shows the Piper aircrafrt used for airborne HySpex operations in Norway in 2005-2006.

HySpex equipment mounted in airplane

This picture shows the HySpex system (VNIR and SWIR) mounted in the airplane.

Ground based systems

All the HySpex hyperspectral scanners can be easily operated on a rotation stage or a translation stage using a laptop computer, making them ideal for acquiring hyperspectral images of static scenes, either in the field or in a laboratory setting. Control of rotation/translation scanning is implemented in the camera software ensuring that the camera movement is automatically synchronized with the camera frame rate.

HySpex camera

This picture shows the HySpex VNIR-1600 camera integrated with a linear translation stage.

HySpex camera

This picture shows the HySpex VNIR-1600 camera integrated with a rotation stage.

Industrial systems

Due to their extremely high speeds, the HySpex cameras are well suited for a wide variety of industrial applications such as material inspection or quality control (see applications). In a typical industrial application, the camera is mounted above a conveyer belt using the belt motion for scanning. By training/calibrating the hyperspectral inspection system for a specific application, an online process can be continuously monitored and controlled based on the detailed spectral information in each pixel. Due to advances in image processing algorithms and hardware, it is now possible to do online hyperspectral quality control in real time. For this type of applications, we can either supply just the hyperspectral camera itself (in the cases where the end user is capable of implementing it in the process) or we can team up with the end user to develop customized solutions solving a specific problem. Possible customers include manufacturers of industrial sorting/processing machines as well as end users in industry.

Custom Developments

If your application requirements cannot be met by the standard HySpex configurations, you are welcome to contact us to discuss your specifications. The HySpex design can be readily modified to suit your application. To ensure that the end user gets what he/she really wants, NEO can assist by acquiring a test/demo data set for your application to provide a starting point for a trade-off analysis which could lead to the definition of a unique set of specifications for your specific application. So do not hesitate to contact us even if our standard configurations do not match your application requirements.

Hyperspectral Services

In addition to our of standard line of high performance hyperspectral cameras, NEO can also provide the following services in the field of hyperspectral imaging:
  • Custom developments of hyperspectralcameras/systems
  • Acquisition of hyperspectral lab or field data (in our lab at the customer's location)
  • Acquisition of airborne hyperspectral data
  • Processing (e.g. geocoding) of airborne hyperspectral data
  • General image processing
  • Calibration services
  • Participation in R&D projects

Please contact us to discuss your needs or requirements for hyperspectral instruments or services.

Applications of Hyperspectral Imaging

Hyperspectral imaging can be an extremely powerful tool in a wide variety of applications, due to the ability of producing scientific quality spectroscopic data with high spatial resolution at high speeds. Some of the main application areas are listed below. NEO's HySpex series of hyperspectral cameras can be employed in all of these application areas and many more.

Airborne remote sensing

Airborne hyperspectral data is useful in a wide variety of applications where it is of interest to classify or identify properties of objects on the ground with high precision and resolution. Such applications include:

  • Defense and security: Military target detection/identification, surveillance, search and rescue.
  • Forestry: Forest mapping/classification, forest health monitoring
  • Agriculture: Precision farming, growth monitoring, yield prediction, governmental monitoring
  • Geology: Mineral mapping, environmental impact around mine areas
  • Environmental monitoring: Algae blooming, oil spill detection, land and sea monitoring
  • Government: Land use monitoring, urban planning/management

Grass spectrum

This figure shows a vegetation (grass) radiance spectrum. ("ASI" is the former name of the HySpex range of hyper spectral cameras. )

Airborne picture

This picture shows airborne HySpex data from a precision farming application. [Planteforsk]


Due to the extremely high speeds achievable with the HySpex camera series, these systems can be used in many industrial/machine vision applications for online process control, quality control, classification and sorting (sizing, uniformity, colour, foreign object detection, subsurface composition). Examples of product/application areas where hyperspectral data can provide valuable information are:

  • Food industry
  • Paper industry
  • Color printing
  • Textile industry
  • Mineral sorting
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Waste/recycling
  • Chemical processes
  • Chemometrics
  • NIR-spectroscopy

Fish filet parasite detector

This picture shows the HySpex VNIR-640 system mounted in a set-up for detection of parasites in fish filet, a food quality application. [Fiskeriforskning]

Apple quality picture

This picture illustrates food quality sorting on an apple based on HySpex data. (Left: RGB image. Right: Principal Components Analysis classification image.)

Ground based field scanning

By mounting the hyperspectral camera on a rotation stage which is synchronized with the camera and operating it from a laptop, the system is easily deployable for field measurements in all the above mentioned application fields. This provides the opportunity to acquire hyperspectral images of objects (e.g. plant leaves or rock samples) in the field with very high spatial resolution. Security and surveillance is another typical applications for this kind of systems.

HySpex Geology Application

Geological application: HySpex field measurements of rocks and cliffs, image shows artificial RGB image with red channel at 730nm (red parts are mainly plants containing chlorophyll).

HySpex on Tripod

HySpex camera mounted on a tripod (left).


Hyperspectral imaging can also be employed in many typical laboratory applications, where a single point spectrometer is not sufficient and spatial information is required. Some of these application areas are listed below.

  • Tissue sample analysis
  • Blood analysis
  • Chemical samples
  • Diagnostics (e.g. skin diseases, cancer)
  • Skin characterization
  • Cosmetics
  • Fluorescence imaging spectroscopy

Bilirubin, 66h, 180h

This image shows the bilirubin levels in bruised skin after 66 hours (left) and 180 hours (right) based on analysis of HySpex data. [Lise L. Randeberg, NTNU]

Survey of coastal areas (Airborne)

The below image illustrates the use of HySpex cameras for survey of coastal areas. Image from Normandie, France.

Courtesy Actimar, France

Courtesy Actimar, France,

For more information see the following link: Airborne hyperspectral survey over the coastal zone of Normandie (Actimar, France)

Geology, mineralogy

Hyperspectral cameras can be used for resource mapping, geological surveys, sorting within the mining industry, and generally within mineralogy etc. The figure below shows the kaolinite spectrum acquired with our HySpex SWIR camera. The characteristic kaolinite spectrum is clearly visible.

The kaolinite spectrum 1300-2500 nm

Reflectance spectrum of kaolinite acquired with the HySpex SWIR-320m camera. The spectrum is shown from around 1300 nm to 2500 nm.

Other applications

Below is a list of applications which do not belong in any of the categories above. Many more potential applications are foreseeable in the future.

  • Forensics
  • Counterfeit detection
  • Art work scanning
  • Colour measurements
  • Print control

Plants using RGB, normal colours Plants using IR channels Plants classified

These pictures illustrate how it is possible to detect a plastic plant among real plants using HySpex data. Top: Image shown with "normal" colours (RGB). Middle: Using the IR information which is displayed in red (red channel chosen above chlorophyll red edge at ~700nm). Bottom: Classification image where the real plants are green, the fake plant is red and the pottery is blue. As can be seen, a plastic plant can easily be detected among real plants using a HySpex camera even though the plastic plants visually look identical to the human eye.

Link to HySpex Overview Page

HySpex Logo

Contact (HyperSpectral)

HySpex is a Trade Mark of Norsk Elektro Optikk AS.

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