Solution Science for Research and Industry

Posts tagged “#sensortechnology

Go Spectro

Turn Your Smartphone into a Spectrometer

The GoyaLab GoSpectro is a device that turns any smartphone or tablet into an ultracompact and powerful handheld spectrometer.  This tool enables spectral analysis of light sources, optical filters and various coloured objects by measuring emission, absorption, reflection and transmission spectra with unmatched compactness and ease of use.  It is the ideal companion for light characterization in the field or in the lab.

GoSpectro is sensitive over the entire visible range (400 nm – 750 nm) with a spectral resolution of less than 10 nm (camera dependent) and a reproducibility of 1 nm.  This revolutionary device allows the spectral characterization of light sources as well as measured spectra in emission, transmission or reflection, with unparalleled compactness.

GoSpectro takes advantage of the camera in the smartphone or tablet, and is easily calibrated by the user in a few seconds with any compact fluorescent light bulb or fluorescent tube.  An optical fibre adaptor is available for the GoSpectro to increase usability in certain applications.

The main screen (shown above) of the mobile app (iOS and Android) provides access to functions for autoscaling the spectrum on the vertical axis, correcting the baseline, saving the spectrum, subtracting a reference spectrum and finding the highest intensity peak.

In this post, we demonstrate how the GoSpectro can be used as a measurement tool for lighting and filters identification applications. 

Example: GoSpectro as a Measurement Tool for Lighting

The advent of LEDs has been a game-changer for the lighting industry.  Indeed, LEDs have already deeply penetrated the automotive and indoor lighting sector and are spreading across various outdoor lighting applications for highways, roadways, bridges and tunnels.  This paradigm shift calls for new tools for the characterization of such light sources.

GoSpectro has been tested on various lamps (LED, halogen, compact fluorescent, etc.) and on optical filters.  The measured spectra can be used to determine the Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) of light sources and the transmission curve of optical filters.

In this example, GoSpectro was used to measure the emission spectrum of different types of light sources.  These emission spectra are very specific and we can use them to clearly identify the type of lamp under investigation, even at a far distance. This is particularly useful for the maintenance of street and roadway lighting.

We carried out the tests on halogen lamp and a “cool” LED to try and determine their Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT). Using the intensity calibration function available on the GoSpectro application we acquired spectra.  Then, from the measured spectra we calculated the CCT:

The calculated CCTs are in good agreement with the theoretical values and the spectra show the typical features expected from a halogen lamp (black body) and from an LED light source.

Why use fibre optic probes for temperature measurement🌡️

When you find that conventional temperature sensors based on resistors or capacitors, or simple wire-based sensors such as thermocouples, just won’t operate properly in a challenging environment, look instead to the multiple benefits provided by fibre optic temperature probes.

Fully dielectric construction of the sensor and its attached fibre optic cable gives immunity to the effects of EMI/RFI, allowing use in high voltage environments, magnetic resonance imaging systems and high magnetic fields.  The material construction further allows use in radiation, high vacuum and explosive areas, and the physical dimensions typical of fibre optics allows the probe to be treated essentially as an electrical cable, routed along complex pathways and along conduits, but without any of the disadvantages of inaccuracies due to the influence of electromagnetic fields.

One main growth area for fibre optic temperature probes has been in the automotive segment, involving test and development of electric vehicles (EV) including the motors, charging stations and batteries.  Faster and accurate temperature measurement is necessary at each stage of EV product development, at both individual component level for identifying performance limits and temperature behavior of individual components, and for fully assembled vehicles to ensure the overall performance and safety.

High voltage connections and operations within the vehicle bring challenges in terms of safety, limited access and electromagnetic noise issues during testing and measurements. Fibre optic based temperature probes are becoming more popular in testing electric and hybrid vehicles due to their immunity to electromagnetic fields, ruggedness, small size, fast response, high accuracy and intrinsic safety of operation.

Our partner Rugged Monitoring has extensive involvement in this application area.  [ ]. If your temperature instrumentation in EV development and testing is revealing the limitations of conventional sensor technology, ask us how fibre optic temperature probes will solve these issues and provide methods of temperature measurement that can’t be made in any other way.