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Spectral Image Sensors: TRACER Chemical-Mapping Camera

TRACER (Thermal IR, Reconfigurable Analysis Camera for Effluents and Residues) provides a new approach to spectral remote sensing by using a single, fast photodetector rather than a ~10x more costly thermal IR focal plane array to detect many hazardous chemicals using the infrared fingerprint region.

TRACER is a Dispersive Transform Spectrometer (DTS) device that uses a Microelectronic Mechanical Systems (MEMS) for spectral and spatial selection - in particular, the Digital Micro-mirror Device (DMD) sold by Texas Instruments, which is used most commonly in projection systems and more recently in compressed imaging applications. The system produces spectrally encoded and compressed data that can be rapidly processed to form a detection map of a chemical species within the image field-of-view.

TRACER is operable in two modes: a full-spectrum acquisition mode, and a fast, chemical-specific spectral matched filter mode. The matched filter is directly encoded in the instrument’s response, thereby achieving optimum light collection and real-time output of chemical abundance in the field of view. For more information about TRACER, contact

TRACER collage