Multiple-colour sensor to replace spectrometers

A Mazet product story
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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Nov 24, 2010

Mazet has announced the MMCS6 range of ratio-optimised semiconductor sensors with integrated interference filters, for applications with non-standard light sources or requiring high colour accuracy.

The company state that MMCS6 bridges the market gap between three-range sensors and spectral measurement devices for sensor applications.

With this multiple-colour sensor, a colour measurement with seven spectral characteristics in the range of 380 to 780nm can be taken on the basis of spectral estimation.

The evaluation of a colour in this sensor is based not on the colorimetric, but rather on the radiometric level, of which the initial result is not the chromaticity coordinate but the spectrum of a colour, which can be then used to calculate the chromaticity coordinate.

Such methods possess higher information density in terms of colour measurement.

Mazet's semiconductor-based sensors have RGB or XYZ interference filters for fast and long-term stable colour detection and absolute colour measurement to the CIE/DIN5033 standard.

In connection with white-light LEDs, these sensors make it possible to achieve accuracies in the colour space that exceed the capacity of the human eye.

Accuracy is heavily determined by the type of light source and calibration of the sensors.

In applications with non-standard light sources and/or higher standards for colour accuracy, the principle of the three-element colour sensors runs up against natural limitations.

For such applications, spectral sensor technologies that use a spectral resolution, such as the spectrometers used in laboratories, are recommended.

For sensor applications, however, such spectrometers can be too slow, too expensive and too big.

The MMCS6 sensor is different in that measurement of metamerism effects, in which various spectra for a defined type of light produce the same impression on the human eye, can be filtered out - this cannot be done with RGB or XYZ sensors.

The spectral characteristics of the MMCS sensors are arranged in such a way that their border areas overlap, so it follows that only as few gaps as possible exist in the visible spectrum.

Misleading interpretation of the colors is thus minimised and measurement accuracy increased.

The sensor operates largely independently of light source quality.

Through the spectral approximation of the measured colour using MMCS sensors, colour differences to which the human eye does not respond can be determined.

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