Ocean Optics has introduced a new set of spectral sensing tools for agricultural researchers and producers.

Measuring crops and vegetation with spectroscopy is simpler and more cost-effective than existing camera-based techniques, illuminating previously unseen color and light characteristics. The STS Developers Kit brings together its powerful STS spectrometer, a Raspberry Pi microcomputer, customizable software, and wireless capabilities in a single package for integrating spectral sensing quickly and easily.

The kit can be quickly configured for a variety of measurements such as NDVI, PAR, PRI and Leaf Area Index. Compact and lightweight, the STS can be integrated into unmanned vehicles to be deployed by land, sea or air. In greenhouse applications, the kit can be used to build a network of sensors for monitoring plant health and growth rate.

The STS Developer Kit takes advantage of the Raspberry Pi’s flexibility and adaptability to enable new uses for spectroscopy. Once connected to a WiFi network, the spectrometer can be controlled through phone, tablet or computer web browser. The WiFi range is up to 150 meters, and all data is securely stored to the onboard SD card.

While it comes pre-loaded with this simple interface and is ready to use out of the box, the development platform makes it fast and easy to customize the kit to specific projects.

The web scripting API enables quick development of custom scripts and applications, allowing the STS and Raspberry Pi to easily perform complex application tasks. Ocean Optics SeaBreeze drivers communicate directly to the spectrometer via USB interface. A Daemon Service software enables more autonomous functionality as well as coordination with other hardware such as switches or even controlling sampling accessories.

The core of the kit is Ocean Optics’ STS microspectrometer. At less than 42 mm square and 24 mm high, the STS delivers maximum power in a small footprint. Its optical design and advanced CMOS detector elevate the STS to performance levels comparable to larger and more expensive spectrometers. Excellent linearity, high dynamic range, and wavelength accuracy ensure reproducible and repeatable results. In addition, high thermal stability performance and low baseline drift ensure that data stays accurate, even under changing environmental conditions. The STS Developer Kit offers the choice of three STS models: STS-UV (190-650 nm), STS-Vis (350-800 nm) and STS-NIR (650-1100 nm).

To learn more about the STS Development Kit, visit the website at www.OceanOptics.com.