Spectrometer names that beer

Analog Devices (Norwood, MA, USA) teamed up with Wasatch Photonics (Logan, UT, USA) this week to demonstrate how a Raman spectrometer can be used to distinguish between ten brands of German beer.

Nov 16th, 2012
Spectrometer names that beer
Spectrometer names that beer

Analog Devices (Norwood, MA, USA) teamed up with Wasatch Photonics (Logan, UT, USA) this week to demonstrate how a Raman spectrometer can be used to distinguish between ten brands of German beer.

The lighthearted demonstration -- which was held at Electronica 2012 -- used the Wasatch Photonics Stroker 785L Raman spectrometer to differentiate between the types of beer by reading the signature spectrum of each.

"The Stroker 785L can identify substances by optically probing their inherent molecular vibrational fingerprints through measurement of the laser-induced amplitude and frequency shift of scattered light,” said Scott Norton, VP Engineering at Wasatch Photonics.

The Stroker 785L itself combines the company’s ƒ/1.3 spectrometer with a proprietary free space VPH (volume phase holographic) grating, a stabilized 785-nm laser, and a customized CCD camera that integrates Analog Devices’ AD7980 16-Bit, 1 msps PulSAR A/D converter.

Aside from classifying types of beer, the compact system can also be used to identify pharmaceuticals, narcotics and explosives.

Related news items on spectrometry that you might also find of interest.

1. Nanotube paint helps image strain

Researchers at Rice University (Houston, TX, USA) have developed a new type of paint made with carbon nanotubes that could be used to help detect strain in buildings, bridges and airplanes.

2. System detects threats via vapors

The US Department of Homeland Security/Transportation Security Administration (DHS/TSA) has awarded a $1.3 million contract to SpectraFluidics (Goleta, CA, USA) to enable it to develop and validate a vapor detection system that detects homemade explosives.

3. Spectroscopy sniffs out fake spirits

Researchers at St. Andrew's University (St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland) are using a microfluidic device coupled with a laser-based near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy system to characterize whiskies and identify fakes.

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