Digital Transform Spectroscopy (DTS™) constitutes an innovative approach in the large and mature molecular spectroscopy industry. Currently, many in-line or factory-based applications go unanswered for want of a high-quality, low-cost spectrometer that can be used in-field. For instance, often it is impractical for the sample to be brought to the spectrometer (e.g. incoming inspection for large vats of fluids received at a pharmaceutical manufacturer), or alternatively, sample identification must be conducted immediately and accurately (e.g. Coast Guard requirements to verify the identity of specific white powders). Using Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) technology, a new breed of portable, high-performance NIR devices is now becoming available at unprecedented costs for just such applications.
The use of MEMS-based spectrometers yields a compact device that can easily be used in hand-held applications. As the MEMS engine is an electrostatic device, power consumption is kept to a minimum, allowing DTS spectrometers to use a battery pack to power all functional and processing electronics for many hours without the need to recharge the device. Also, with the advent of new composite materials and manufacturing processes, the devices are light enough to be carried and used extensively in the field. Devices can further be manufactured with a small footprint to deliver a broad range of field and laboratory applications as well as to promote their integration into process control. The portability, effectiveness and low cost of these compact spectrometers will be a driving force in the generation of numerous new applications in which a spectrometer can be brought to the sample as opposed to current practices that require bringing samples into the lab.