How small a spectrometer can be made?

[I will update this post after testing the sensor]

In a recent post I described a miniature two-channel UV-A sensor with digital interface. Here I will describe a miniature and low cost spectrometer, type AS7265X from ams. It does not used a grating as monochromator, but instead each of the 18 channels has a different interference filter deposited directly on the silicon chip. The FWHM is 20 nm, and the wavelength range from 410 nm to 940 nm. The spectrometer consists in three separate sensor units working together. The interface is digital, and temperature compensation and analogue to digital conversion takes place in the sensor modules. In spite of the number of channels communication between the spectrometer and a micro-processor requires only two wires. The spectrometer supports two different communication protocols, the specialized I2C and a generic serial communication (UART).

Macro-photographs of both sides of an early prototype of a breakout board are shown below. The size of the board is 18 mm × 19 mm. (Photographs were taken as described for the UV-A sensor.)

I bought this board from a seller at Tindie for USD 50. The seller is now selling a differently shaped board, with the three modules in a triangle, and so closer to each other.

Bracketing

[post revised on 2017-10-21]

Definition and explanation

Before describing different types of “image merging” workflows, I will explain some terms that I will be using in this blog. Today I will explain the meaning of bracketing.

Bracketing consists in acquiring a series of images with different camera settings. The word bracketing comes from the idea that we have a target value for the setting, say exposure, and we acquire images with this exact target setting and settings both at slightly large and slightly smaller values (bracketing both “sides” of the target). At least three images need to be acquired for the meaning to strictly apply, but in some exceptional cases even hundreds images are acquired. Continue reading Bracketing