The Photonex exhibition is held each year in Coventry, UK. In even years it has hosted a conference on hyperspectral imaging, organised by Professor Steve Marshall from the University of Strathclyde, UK. For the first time, in October 2017, a smaller, industrially focused conference was held in a lecture theatre on the exhibition floor to fill in the conference gap in the odd years. I am sure most of those attending found it a useful and interesting event.
JSI has published papers from a previous HSI conference at Photonex. If you would like information on the 2018 conference, visit https://www.photonex.org.
The conference was opened and introduced by Laurence Devereux, organiser of the Photonex event.
Trond Løke of Norse Elektro Optikk, Norway, gave the first talk on “Key Quality Parameters in Hyperspectral Imaging Systems”. He offered advice on what to look for in hyperspectral camera specifications when buying.
Henry Langstone, General Manager UK of Ocean Optics, spoke on “Multispectral Imaging—The Route to Simple and Cost Effective Imaging Solutions”. He suggested that we should consider multispectral imaging, since the full hyperspectral approach may not be needed for all applications. He offered an example from an application they are involved with for detection of disease in plants in commercial greenhouses.
Oliver Pust from Delta Optical Thin Film A/S, Denmark considered “High Spatial Resolution Hyperspectral Camera Based on a Continuously Variable Filter”. He described what continuous variable filters are and how to make them. He also showed how their products are used in hyperspectral imaging.
Matt Gunn, from the University of Aberystwyth, UK, spoke on “Hyperspectral Cameras using Tuneable Interference Filters”. He is involved in developing calibration targets for the multispectral camera to go to Mars on the European Space Agency’s ExoMars mission. There are many challenges in developing an imaging system for Mars: temperature, vibration, sterilisation, radiation requirements must be considered, but the most difficult is the very limited data bandwidth available to transmit results back from Mars. He also described prototype cameras they have developed.
Neil Clancy, University College London, UK, moved the subject to ones closer to home with “Hyperspectral Imaging in Surgery and Colonoscopy”. In surgery, they are investigating damage from different surgical procedures for bowel surgery. Also, in transplant surgery they are working with a team hoping to do the first uterine transplant. They are using HSI to look at O2 saturation levels in transplanted sheep uterus, to help develop a surgical procedure for use in humans. In colonoscopy, they are investigating different stages of bowel cancer: not all polyps need removal but they can be very similar visually. Currently, the only way to determine their nature is to resect and send them for histopathology: this is time consuming and a potential risk to patients.
After a break for lunch, Dr Jonghee Yoon, University of Cambridge, UK, described the “Development of a Clinically Translatable Hyperspectral Endoscope Exploiting a Flexible Fibre Bundle and a Spectrograph”. He has been working on identifying dysplastic Barrett’s by hyperspectral imaging on a standard endoscope.
Nicolas Virlet, Rothamsted Research, UK, talked on “Hyperspectral Imaging for High Detailed Phenotyping: Challenge of Dynamic and Complex Environment”. UK wheat yields have stagnated in the last 20 years. They are looking at breeding new varieties, and this needs high-throughput phenotyping; they are using hyperspectral imaging for this. Nicolas described two phenotyping platforms: one using a UAV and the other a field-based scanning system using a moving crane.
The topic of Scott Konley from Resonon, USA, was “Hyperspectral Remote Sensing: From AVIRIS to Everyone”. He provided an overview of his and platforms, from expensive government-only to more recent cheap UAV systems.
Bavo Delauré, VITO NV, Belgium, described “Compact Hyperspectral Imaging Solutions using Thin Film Filters for Drone and Small Satellite Based Earth Observation”. His institute been in hyperspectral imaging for 50 years, with distinct trends to smaller, lower-cost systems. They are building a compact hyperspectral imaging system (COSI-CAM) based on imec chips. The aim is to use the system to provide a complete survey of the health of a field and to provide a report on action that needs to be taken. An example was for monitoring winter wheat, two sections, one treated with fungicide and one not to determine disease resistance between them. They are also developing a higher resolution chip for ESA.
The last talk of the day was from Andy Tomlinson of Phase Photonics on “High-Speed Hyperspectral System in the NIR for Plastics Recycling and Other Applications”. They are developing a new system with speed >800 fps. The camera is located above the conveyor in a recycling plant, scanning across the whole width and enabling sorting of recyclable material. Due to the speed of the system, multiple passes can be used to enable complete sorting.