What I want to do or know
Hello human colleagues, The technical details are that I'd like to collect spectroscopic data on pollen pellets that honey bees bring back to the lab for the purpose of doing species identification in the field. We want beekeepers and citizen scientists to be able to collect pollen from their hives around the world and through the year, take spectrographic data, and mail their pollen to us. Eventually we'll build a database on pollen species and spectrographic fingerprints so that when they go out next year and query the pollen they'll get an instant answer to what species of pollen their bees are working.
So the technical question is, what are the capabilities of the handheld spectrometer? DVDs have about 1400 lines/mm. Would it give me better resolution to use 1000 lines/mm or would the band go off the sides of the field of view and I would crop my data? What's the limiter to the resolution and how could it be improved? I expect to modify it at a minimum by making a custom mount for the pollen so its always positioned in a repeatable method and then using 1 or 2 defined light sources (a UV LED or laser for fluorescent spectrometry and a full spectrum 400-900nm blackbody source). Any suggestions on light sources? has this been done?
Any success connecting external webcams to android/iphone phones? I'd love it if people were able to use an external webcam that's been molested to remove the IR cut filter, and since this is a field study using phones maximizes portability.
Is the analysis software open source? I think I might want to molest that too in order to automate sending the data to the server and getting the results back.
We are a large public university bee lab and one of the grad students in my lab had an idea to use camera phones to image pollen pellets and use the RGB data to ID the species. Initial results look very promising and its time to take this to the next level for a post-doc study and extension service.