If you know anything about Infrared cameras, SWIR is what we call short wave infrared. It is more often than not referring 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 impeccable contrast, which you really need for high resolution imaging. While LWIR imagers give off more poorly defined thermal images, SWIR produces very clear, HD quality.
Short Wave InfraRed Imagers
SWIR is now used in so many applications and will continue to become even more widely used. Applications such as silicon inspection, laser beam profiling, hyperspectral imaging, chemical and plastics sensing, machine vision imaging, agricultural sensing, surveillance systems, and medical imaging, all use SWIR. 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. It is going to become even more increasingly common over time as technology progresses.
Machine Vision Imaging
Machine vision imaging is currently the most common application for SWIR. Machine vision imaging actually 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 that could reflect badly on your company. Quality and precise development is imperative. A machine vision camera must be excellent quality to be useful.
Near-infrared is what is known as NIR in the world of Infrared Imaging. 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, 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. Light solutions add a lot of complexity, as well as cost.