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Osram presents new near-infrared LED for smart farming

Osram’s new broadband infrared LED is to help farmers plan the best time for harvest.

Osram announced its new Oslon Black SFH 4736 near-infrared LED (NIRED). According to Osram, the Oslon Black SFH 4736 has more than double the radiant intensity of its predecessor. “When installed in a smartphone or tablet, the NIRED offers a simple way for farmers to scan fruit or cereal crops to generate reliable information about the sugar, water, and fat content,” says the manufacturer.

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 "When installed in a smartphone or tablet, the NIRED offers a simple way for farmers to scan fruit or cereal crops to generate reliable information about the sugar, water, and fat content," says Osram. - Photos: Osram
"When installed in a smartphone or tablet, the NIRED offers a simple way for farmers to scan fruit or cereal crops to generate reliable information about the sugar, water, and fat content," says Osram. - Photos: Osram

One of the most important decisions for farmers and vineyard owners is finding the right time to harvest. This not only ensures that the product has the best possible taste, but also saves time and money during the processing and shipment stages.

Near-infrared spectroscopy

Determining ripeness is made possible by near-infrared spectroscopy. This process involves scanning the content of various types of fruit and vegetables and takes only a few seconds. For example, a farmer would select a random ear of wheat, scan it with a smartphone, and just a few seconds later read the results on the display.

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The NIRED irradiates the sample with a defined spectrum of light.
The NIRED irradiates the sample with a defined spectrum of light.

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.

According to Osram, the reflected light can be considered to be a kind of 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.”

Optimize crop yield

“By focusing on making progress for farmers, the new Oslon Black SFH 4736 near-infrared LED takes farming technology to the next frontier,” said Karl Leahy, Director of Emitters, Lasers and Sensors and Osram Opto Semiconductors. “Our unique NIRED allows our farmers to optimize their crop yield, as well as enhance harvest efficiency while keeping costs down.”

See how infrared spectroscopy works in this video

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