Texas Patent of the Month – April 2022

Specialty cameras can be used for imaging in different spectra including thermal imaging, infrared (IR) imaging or even UV images. Rebellion Photonics, Inc., innovators in spectral imaging solutions, have recently developed an IR imaging system capable of detecting the presence of mobile gasses and chemicals. Their system goes beyond presence and identifies the concentration of the chemical to provide better insight into the potential hazard.

The imaging system uses an optical system with an optical focal plane array (FPA) unit. Within this system, two optical channels are used where each is spatially and spectrally different from each other. They each capture their own data to build the spectral image of the scene. This data is then used to build a 3D data cube constructed of the spatial and spectral dimensions of the scene. The cubes can then be further processed using various mathematical algorithms to pull information from the data. In this way, the raw data can be scanned to identify IR spectral signatures. These signatures can be used to identify target chemicals based on the captured IR data. Different chemical compounds absorb and reflect IR spectra at different rates. Beyond this, different concentrations can impact this absorption as well. So when the IR camera captures data, this can be used to identify target chemicals.

By tracking the presence and concentration of gasses or chemicals, leaks can be detected and pinned down to their source as the plume can be followed back to the source. This allows any leak to be addressed quickly and before it can cause any major damage or health problems.  

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