Snapshot Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer With Achromatic Wollaston Prisms

Technology #ua08-057

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Michael Kudenov
Assistant Research Professor, Optical Sciences
Eustace Dereniak
Professor, Optical Sciences
Managed By
Amy Phillips
Sr. Licensing Manager (520) 621-9579

Background:  Today’s applications of remote sensing demand information of increasing sophistication. In particular, there is a need to obtain detailed spatial and spectral information over a short period of time (e.g., to counter motion blur). Though a number of imaging spectrometer technologies have emerged in recent years, they are often technologically complex and lack the snapshot capability, which makes them susceptible to mechanical stress, vibration, and motion. Therefore, there is a need to develop imaging spectrometer hardware that is mechanically robust and features snapshot image acquisition.


Summary:  Researchers at The University of Arizona have developed a novel device that answers challenges of increased robustness and faster acquisition time. This new device has no moving mechanical parts, mounts directly onto the focal plane imaging array, and acquires both the spectral and spatial information at once. Thus, this new device is significantly more robust than its predecessors in the field, and it offers a true snapshot capability. Its form factor is also significantly reduced with respect to its predecessors. Furthermore, due the device’s passive design, it does not require any power to operate beyond what is needed for the image capture and signal processing hardware.


Lead investigator: Michael D. Kudenov


Stage of development: A prototype of the device has been constructed and tested, validating the theory and principle of operation.



  • Remote sensing
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Machine vision



  • Lack of moving parts makes the device mechanically robust
  • Small footprint – the device can be mounted directly onto the focal plane array
  • The device is passive, hence it does not require extra power for operation


Status: Non-Provisional patent application has been filed. Currently seeking a commercial partner for licensing.


Contact information:

Amy Phillips (

Refer to case # UA08-057 & UA10-125