SWIR Cameras

    SWIR Cameras

    SWIR cameras were introduced into the field of machine vision in order to improve accuracy, precision, and supplement the current imaging technology. They possess the ability to uncover and identify objects that are not visible to the human eye. Our SWIR cameras are Visible-SWIR, which means that two separate cameras are not necessary because they can detect both the visible field and the SWIR range.

    Applications for SWIR cameras include detecting moisture, inspecting semiconductors, and differentiating between various types of materials. We provide SWIR cameras with TEC cooling technology and the option of a fan in addition to the standard visible SWIR cameras. It is strongly advised that you pair your Visible-SWIR camera with one of our Visible-SWIR lenses. You can find our assortment of SWIR lenses in various focal lengths here: 12 mm SWIR lens, 16 mm SWIR lens, 25 mm SWIR lens, and 35 mm SWIR lens.

    What is SWIR?

    Wavelengths in the visible spectrum span 400 nm to 780 nm. We refer to the range of wavelengths between 780nm and 1000µm as infrared light. Short-wave infrared light, or SWIR light, is another name for the infrared wavelength spectrum that lies close to visible light, roughly between 900 and 2500 nm. In contrast to visible light and thermal infrared light, SWIR is a special intermediate wavelength. Typically, SWIR imaging sensors have a wavelength range of 900–1700 nm. The penetration depth of this spectral range in specific materials and atmospheric conditions is what defines it. For high-resolution imaging applications like silicon wafer inspection, SWIR imaging provides clear benefits.

    Machine vision with SWIR cameras

    Due to their ability to record data that is invisible to the human eye, SWIR cameras can provide an excellent solution to machine vision. It can provide visibility through some materials that might be opaque in the visible spectrum and reveal details in low light. Visible-SWIR cameras are more affordable than other machine vision cameras when it comes to imaging solutions. Multiple cameras operating in different spectrums can be replaced by visible-SWIR cameras. There are financial savings and easier maintenance as a result of this unification.

    The enhanced imaging in difficult environments is an additional advantage of using SWIR cameras. SWIR cameras are extremely useful in challenging indoor and outdoor settings because they are typically less affected by common environmental factors like smoke, haze, and fog. This ability to withstand changing environmental conditions guarantees consistent performance in a range of machine vision applications. Additionally, by converting heat into luminosity data, SWIR cameras are able to detect temperature variations. We provide SWIR cameras that can be used to observe temperatures above 250ᵒC.  Lights in the SWIR spectrum are emitted by substances at this temperature or above. In sectors like the steel industry, this quality is advantageous.

    The fact that SWIR cameras provide a good option for material analysis is one last advantage of using them. Depending on the composition of each material, SWIR cameras can distinguish between them. Different materials have different infrared reflectance and absorptance at different wavelengths; being able to distinguish between them is helpful in a variety of industries. This is particularly true for jobs like quality control, where it's crucial to analyze the composition of some materials. SWIR cameras are able to identify these, especially in applications where similar materials need to be distinguished. The picture below provides an example of how to find rubber tubes in a pile of dry pasta and plastic and metal fragments in a pile of black beans.

    SWIR Cameras in vision system applications

    SWIR cameras can be used in a variety of machine vision applications:

    • Industrial Inspection: To ensure the quality of the finished product, SWIR cameras are used in the industry for inspection and defect detection. This wavelength of light has the ability to permeate materials, including silicon and glass, which are frequently used in the glass industry. It is also frequently used in the food industry for moisture detection and fruit and vegetable sorting. The water absorbs light and turns black in photos captured at a wavelength of 1450 nm with a SWIR camera. This feature facilitates the sorting process by making it simple to determine the moisture content.
    • Medical Imaging: SWIR cameras are useful in molecular composition research, biological tissue imaging, and diagnostics.
    • Agricultural Monitoring: In contrast to color cameras, SWIR cameras help with soil composition analysis, moisture content detection, and crop health monitoring. An illustration can be seen in the picture below, where moisture is seen in the dents on an apple's skin. This data allows for a more precise analysis to be performed. Precision farming and agricultural technique optimization depend on this.

    The field of machine vision is anticipated to employ more SWIR cameras as the technology continues to advance. The integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms with SWIR cameras has the potential to enhance machine vision applications and facilitate more accurate process automation.

    Advantages of using Visible-SWIR cameras

    The visible-SWIR camera, in contrast to the conventional SWIR camera, can take pictures in both the visible and short-wave infrared spectrums. With both visible and SWIR imaging, this dual capability offers a more complete picture and combines the advantages of a single device.

    The ability of visible-SWIR cameras to include visible spectrum content in their images is one of their advantages. In this manner, the user's comprehension and ability to interpret the image are improved. The visible range is easier to distinguish and more recognizable. Having both images allows for recognition and analysis, as opposed to depending solely on the SWIR data. The ability of SWIR imaging to distinguish cooking oil from water and the various contents of containers is demonstrated in the two images below.

    Visible-SWIR cameras have the practical advantage of functioning in a variety of lighting settings. The camera can adjust to the various light conditions and produce a sharp image whether it is bright daylight or dimly lit at night. This capability is highly beneficial in many domains, including industrial inspections and scientific imaging research. The conventional visible light camera + SWIR camera dual detection scheme can be replaced by this incredibly versatile device. Using SWIR cameras lowers expenses, increases the detection range, and speeds up processing.


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