Osram launches the Oslon Black SFH 4736 near-infrared LED (NIRED). When installed in a smartphone or tablet, the Osram NIRED offers a simple way for farmers to scan fruit, vegetable or grain crops, generating reliable information about the sugar, water and fat content.
A key decision for farmers and vineyard owners is picking the right time to harvest, not only ensuring that the produce has the best possible taste but also saving time and money during processing and shipment.
Determining ripeness is made possible by near-infrared spectroscopy. This process involves scanning the content of various types of fruit, vegetables and grains – and takes only a few seconds. For example, a farmer can select a random ear of wheat, scan it with a smartphone, and just a few seconds later read the results on the display.
The NIRED irradiates the sample with a defined spectrum of light. Depending on its precise composition, the sample will reflect only a certain proportion of that light. The spectrometer then processes the information and integrates it into the smartphone or tablet. The reflected light can be considered as a ‘photometric fingerprint’. These measurements indicate the existence and quantity of certain nutrients, allowing farmers to take samples and easily monitor the progress of their crops in real time so they can plan the ideal time for harvest.
“By focusing on making progress for farmers, the new Oslon Black SFH 4736 near-infrared LED takes farming technology to the next frontier,” says Karl Leahy, director of Emitters, Lasers and Sensors at Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH of Regensburg, Germany. “Our unique NIRED allows farmers to optimize their crop yield, as well as enhance harvest efficiency while keeping costs down.”
In late 2016, Osram Opto Semiconductors unveiled the SFH 4735 as what was claimed to be the first broadband emitter of its kind. This previous model is being used in applications including in SCiO, one of the first near-infrared micro-spectrometers for the consumer market from Consumer Physics, based in San Francisco, CA, USA and Israel.
The SFH 4736, which achieves almost twice the output (due to its newly integrated lens), is also suitable for use in the professional sector and can provide valuable assistance to farmers.