A dual-channel spectral imaging system with agile spectral band access and spectral bandwidth tuning capability is presented. A diffractive grating and an acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) are respectively used as spectral dispersion and spectral filtering elements for the two channels. A spectral filtering channel using an adjustable slit is set up at the first diffraction order of the grating to realize coarse spectral band selection. The AOTF selectively filters the spectrum of the nondispersed zero order to realize fine spectral imaging. The spectral zooming function is achieved without increasing spectral frame number facilitating real-time spectral imaging operation. Feasibility of the spectral imaging has been demonstrated through preliminary experiments. Minimum spectral resolution and field of view have been achieved. The real-time spectral imaging capable of wide spectral band operation without loosing desired fine spectral capability is particularly useful for a variety of defense, medical, and environmental monitoring applications.
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