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Physics Department Colloquium

Hyperspectral imaging uses a dispersion element in the optical path of the imager to spread the light across the wavelength domain onto a detector.  Consequently, we can image a scene or object in hundreds of colors, providing the opportunity to perform material analysis and identification across a large scene.  While we have used this technology in remote sensing (i.e., airborne or space-based imaging) for decades for applications such as precision agriculture, water quality, and other land use problems, the advent of smaller, more inexpensive systems has moved their use into the realm of conservation science and historical analysis of materials.  Here, we present an introduction to hyperspectral imaging and describe how we use it to study two medieval maps imaged in the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford.  The Gough Map of Great Britain (c. 1360) is the first map of Britain that is geographically recognizable.  It was also used and modified for over 100 years.  Similarly, the Selden Map of China (c. 1600) is a navigational map of the Seas off the coast of China and in the South Pacific.  Both are unique artifacts with unknown origin, materials, modifications, and uses.  We show how hyperspectral imaging can be used to answer some of these questions.  I will also give a brief overview of the MS and Ph.D. programs in Imaging Science at RIT.

 

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