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Evaluating low-cost spectrometer designs for utility in reflectance and transmittance applications

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Recent advances in low-cost microprocessors and sensors have allowed for the development of low-cost spectrometers for public experimentation and education outreach. In the context of the present paper and other recent research, low-cost spectrometers are important remote sensing instruments for numerous applications in citizen science and education. We built five spectrometer designs then tested them for absorption using concentrations of fluids and reflectance using colour swatches and minerals found on Mars as well as other materials possessing a high near infra-red (NIR) reflectance. These results were then compared with a laboratory grade spectrometer. We found that while all spectrometers produced meaningful results during the fluid concentration tests, there were considerable differences in accuracies between home-made instruments during the reflectance testing. Two spectrometer designs were identified that produced useful results for a range of low-cost scientific applications.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, University of New South Wales Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia 2: Mars Society Australia, VIC, Australia

Publication date: January 17, 2019

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