Have you ever heard of SWIR in regards to Infrared cameras? Short Wave InfraRed, also known as SWIR, is more often than not referring to the wavelength band of light that sits between 900nm and 2500nm. Unlike Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR) light, 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 are poorly defined, SWIR provides beautiful quality imaging.
Short Wave InfraRed Imagers
We are able to find many incredible applications where SWIR is used perfectly. When it comes to these applications, it may be 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 are also intended for use in mobile phone facial recognition sensors, and autonomous vehicle imaging though obscured environments. As technology is on the rise, we can only imagine how many uses we will continue to find for Infrared imaging.
SWIR and Machine Vision Imaging
One of the most heavily used applications for SWIR is 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. The manufacturing process involves so many steps that 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. If your camera is not offering impeccable quality imaging, it is essentially useless.
Near-infrared is typically known as NIR. NIR is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum directly adjacent to the visible range, meaning it is 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, in situations like traffic monitoring or even security. Before this, these applications were only possible with infrared cameras with expensive CCD sensors that were unattainable by many. 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. Do you need NIR, LWIR or Short Wave Infrared Cameras? Make sure you do your research beforehand.