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Resources / Industry Expertise / SWIR Imaging

SWIR Imaging

Can You See Beyond the Visible?

Can You See Beyond the Visible?

A large number of applications that are difficult or impossible to perform using visible light are made possible, with superior results, using short-wave infrared (SWIR) imaging thus enabling the user to "See Beyond the Visible." Unlike mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and long-wave infrared (LWIR) light, which is emitted from the object itself, SWIR is similar to visible light in that photons are reflected or absorbed by an object, providing the strong contrast needed for higher resolution imaging. Ambient star light and background radiance (nightglow) are natural emitters of SWIR and provide excellent illumination for outdoor or nighttime imaging including imaging though fog, haze and water vapors.

Most Popular SWIR Imaging Applications

  • Electronic Board Inspection
  • Solar Cell Inspection
  • Identifying and Sorting
  • Produce Inspection
  • Surveillance
  • Anti-Counterfeiting
  • Process Quality Control

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Visible Imaging of Red Apple
Figure 2a: Visible Imaging of Red Apple. Notice the Apple Looks Perfectly Red with Visible Imaging. Defects are Not Easily Discernable.

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SWIR Imaging of Red Apple
Figure 2b: SWIR Imaging of Red Apple. Bruising is Clearly Evident on the Apple with SWIR Imaging. It is Easy to Inspect Any Defects on the Skin.

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Visible Imaging of Baby Powder Bottle
Figure 3a: Visible Imaging of Baby Powder Bottle. Notice the Bottle Looks White and Glossy with Visible Imaging. The Powder within is not Discernable at All.

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SWIR Imaging of Baby Powder Bottle
Figure 3b: SWIR Imaging of Baby Powder Bottle. The Bottle is Transparent to SWIR Wavelengths. It is Easy to See the Amount of Powder Within.

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Visible The Last Judgment
Figure 4a: The Last Judgment by Jan Provost and imaged in the SWIR waveband by the Detroit Institute of Arts details the artist's original intention by carefully examining the underdrawing which lies beneath the paint film. Image copyright by Detroit Institute of Arts. Used with permission.

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SWIR The Last Judgment
Figure 4b: One can see 10 trumpets underneath the archangel versus the 5 trumpets that were actually painted. The placement of the painted trumpets appears to have necessitated a reposition of the sailing vessel. The toes on top of the globe were also not painted in the same location as the original underdrawing. Image copyright by Detroit Institute of Arts. Used with permission.

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Visible Bountiful Fruit
Figure 5a: Bountiful Fruit painted by Philadelphia artist Nicole D. Tartaglia details the planning process of an artist when creating an oil painting. By examining the painting in the SWIR waveband one can follow the artist's thought process from initial sketch to painting and refinement of finished work.

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SWIR Bountiful Fruit
Figure 5b: As you can see, the painting originally included bananas and a frame that were omitted from the final image. Along the lower right there appears to be blotches of paint not seen in the visible waveband. Perhaps the artist began painting the background with different materials or changed her mind and touched up the painting at a later date.

Edmund Optics is Your SWIR Imaging Expert

SWIR - Start Shopping

Capable of manufacturing and assembling in volume to the highest standards, Edmund Optics is experienced in designing, manufacturing, and coating SWIR imaging lenses. Edmund Optics offers lens assemblies designed with glasses that are optimized for performance in the SWIR spectrum, and our SWIR anti-reflection (AR) coatings are specially designed for maximum transmission of SWIR wavelengths.

It is essential to use a lens that is both designed and coated for the SWIR wavelength band. Using a lens designed for the visible spectrum will result in low resolution images and higher optical aberrations.

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SWIR Imaging Lens Specifications

  • Designed for Superior Image Quality and SWIR Wavelengths
  • AR Coated for R<0.5% @ 800 - 1800nm
  • Supports up to 25.6mm Sensors

Need Expert Advice?

Contact us today to get in touch with an applications engineer to discuss your requirements.


Related Resources

Edmund Optics makes it easy to find the right product for your application. You can learn more about SWIR technology and determine if SWIR imaging lenses are well-suited for your application.

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