LED for crop scanning

Osram is aiming at farmers, horticulturists and viticulturists with a broad-band near-infra-red LED for in-field reflection spectroscopy.

“One of the most important decisions that farmers and vineyard owners have to make involves getting the timing right for the harvest,” it said. “Simply scanning fruit or cereal crops with the near-infra-red LED installed in a smartphone or tablet produces reliable information about the sugar, water and fat content.”

Such testing relies on the absorption behavior of certain compounds, requiring a light source with a known spectrum that is wide enough to excite those molecules.

To get the spectral width, Osram is using phosphor conversion (pumped by a blue die) within its Oslon Black SFH 4736 LED to cover 650 to 1,050nm.

To ease the job of the following spectrometer, LED output intensity is increased by the integrated primary optic which gets 90% generated light inside a +/-40° beam – this is an improvement over Osram’s earlier attempt at a horticultural spectrometer source.

“Compared to SFH 4735, which does not have a lens, we are achieving more than twice the output with the SFH 4736 in a solid angle of 80°,” said Osram marketing manager Carola Diez. “The SFH 4736 therefore marks another step toward even more efficient broadband near-infra-red emitting diodes for spectroscopy applications.”

That said, the earlier 4735 was adopted by Israeli start-up Consumer Physics for its matchbox-sized Scio near-infra-red spectrometer.

The new LED has a 3.75 x 3.75mm footprint and is 2.3mm high.

No sampling data has been provided and, at the time of writing, the product does not appear to have a web page nor a data sheet on Osram’s website. Links have been requested.

Source: www.electronicsweekly.com

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