Have you ever heard of the acronym SWIR? It stands for Short Wave InfraRed, and more often than not is going to refer to the wavelength band of light that sits between 900nm and 2500nm. Unlike Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR) light, which is emitted from the object itself, SWIR light is similar to visible light in that photons are reflected or absorbed by an object, giving you the strongest contrast possible, which you really need for high resolution imaging. While LWIR imagers give off more poorly defined thermal images, SWIR imagers deliver high resolution images, much like visible light cameras, which offer excellent detail and definition.
Explaining SWIR Imagers
SWIR imagers have many applications, including silicon inspection, laser beam profiling, hyperspectral imaging, chemical and plastics sensing, machine vision imaging, agricultural sensing, surveillance systems, and medical imaging. They give you the ability to see those super minute defects that you just can’t catch otherwise, and in some circumstances that’s the difference between life and death. They can also be used in mobile phone facial recognition sensors, and autonomous vehicle imaging though obscured environments. The possible number of uses are too long to list in full, Short Wave Infrared cameras are a great utility!
Applications of SWIR
Arguably the most useful application for SWIR at this point is in machine vision imaging. Machine vision imaging necessitates cameras that can see the absolute smallest defects, see that at extremely fast frame rates, and a field of view wide enough to image a large area. SWIR cameras are compliant with the main vision software programs you’ll find out there. Manufacturing anything always has some unknown and risk to it. There are just so many steps involved in most manufacturing processes, there’s always a chance for something to wrong and lead to you putting out some undesirable product. The very last thing you as a business want to do is deliver an inferior product to the customer. That’s why machine vision imaging for quality control is so very important and should never be brushed off.
Short Wave InfraRed Cameras and Near-Infrared Cameras
NIR is another very popular type of camera. Near-infrared (NIR) is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum directly adjacent to the visible range; thus not visible to the human eye. NIR-optimized industrial cameras are popular for applications that need to utilize this wavelength range, mainly applications with poor light conditions, such as traffic monitoring or even security. Until now, these applications were only possible with infrared cameras with expensive CCD sensors. Some application fields and inspection solutions require NIR for high wavelengths as well as for normal lighting, to record high-contrast images. Standard industrial cameras quickly reach their limits in that particular scenario, since they require very great lighting to get useable images. Setting up these light solutions adds tremendous cost and complexity, which in turn leads to rising system costs and deterioration of the price/performance ratio. When using face inspecting cameras, you can’t beat NIR. If you are interested in SWIR or NIR, check out SWIR Cameras.