Term: Multispectral Technology

Description: Technology used for capturing light from frequencies beyond the visual light range. It was originally developed for space-based imaging, but now it is the technology behind remote sensing radiometers. The images generated range from 0.7-0.4 µm, and go into infrared ranges of 0.7-10 µm. This encompasses the infrared ranges of Near InfraRed, Middle InfraRed, and Far InfraRed or Thermal. Images with even more bands, finer resolution, or wider spectral coverage may be called "hyper spectral" or "ultra spectral" rather than multi-spectral.

Multispectral technology is useful for the purposes of seeing things that cannot normally be seen, by capturing images with light from non-visual frequencies we are able to view certain chemicals that may otherwise appear invisible, more clearly read text from ancient papyri, and see anything with a great disparity of light reflectivity.

Applications: In the health care industry, multispectral technology is not only composed of the imaging workstation but also the technology necessary to view and analyze multispectral data. Applications for this technology include allowing life science researchers to study molecular abnomalities which are the cause of diseases in the early stages for example. Particularly, multispectral imaging can help monitor and locate changes in molecular activity of specific cells or organs long before morphological changes can be detected. Through this, the development of effective theraputics for disease treatment can be expedited for use in the field as efficiently as possible.

Multispectral technologies are primarily used as a non-invasive measurement of biological processes, although the imaging process also increases light sensitivity so that viewing biological marker signals in subjects, like small animals for example, is much more easily detected while at the same time eliminating background noise or autoflourescence. Within the healthcare industry, multispectral imaging also helps to target pressure ulcers and deep tissue injuries.

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Related Terminology:
Hyperspectral Technology

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external image multispectral%20principle.jpg
How a multispectral camera works
Source: ifingersys.com

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An example of a multispectral image
Source: California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology