We propose a spectral imaging method for piecewise “macropixel” objects, which allows a regular digital camera to be converted into a digital snapshot spectral imager by equipping the camera with only a disperser and a demultiplexing algorithm. The method exploits a “multiplexed spectrum” intensity pattern, i.e., the superposition of spectra from adjacent different image points, formed on the image sensor of the digital camera. The spatial image resolution is restricted to a macropixel level in order to acquire both spectral and spatial data (i.e., an entire spectral cube) in a single snapshot. Results of laboratory experiments with a special macropixel object image, composed of small, spatially uniform squares, provide to our knowledge a first verification of the proposed spectral imaging method.
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