What is hyperspectral imaging and why does it matter?

on Mon Nov 07 2022

Francis Doumet

Francis Doumet


If you’ve ever wondered how those jaw-dropping images of galaxies or nebulae are captured, the answer lies in hyperspectral imaging. This powerful tool allows us to see things that our eyes cannot, and it has a range of applications in both the scientific and commercial realms. Let’s take a closer look at hyperspectral imaging and how it works.

How Hyperspectral Imaging Works
Hyperspectral imaging is a type of spectroscopy that captures the complete spectrum of light emitted by an object, rather than just the visible light that our eyes can see. This information is then processed to create an image that represents the different wavelengths of light as different colors.

Commercial Applications of Hyperspectral Imaging
Hyperspectral imaging is used in a variety of commercial applications, such as quality control for food and beverage industry, detecting counterfeit drugs, and analyzing minerals in mining operations. In the food and beverage industry, spectral imaging can be used to detect flaws or foreign objects in products on conveyor belts. In the pharmaceutical industry, hyperspectral images can be used to identify fake drugs based on differences in color when compared to known standards. And in mining operations, hyperspectral imaging can be used to map mineral content in rock samples. In recycling plants, hyperspectral imagery can help separate materials that were previously unidentifiable, thereby increase in the quality of recycled material.

Scientific Applications of Hyperspectral Imaging
In addition to its many commercial applications, hyperspectral imaging also has a number of scientific uses. One such use is astrobiology, where it’s used to study planets outside our solar system for signs of life. Another is astronomy, where it’s used to study distant galaxies and nebulae. And lastly, hyperspectral imaging is also used in medicine for cancer detection and tissue analysis.


Hyperspectral imaging is a versatile technology that has a wide range of applications in both quality control and data science. By controlling the collection of data across the electromagnetic spectrum, hyperspectral imaging systems can provide insights that would otherwise be unavailable. The versatility of hyperspectral imaging makes it an essential tool for industries that require accurate and detailed data. In the coming years, we are likely to see even more uses for this technology as its capabilities continue to grow.