Multispectral imaging of ore minerals under the microscope is a logical extension of quantitative colour analysis and microspectrophotometric analysis of minerals. This paper describes, step by step, how the proper calibration of a scientific video camera can be performed in order to obtain precise reflectance measurements at each pixel within the field of view. After having reviewed the different sources of noise and aberration, practical formulae are presented that allow for the acquisition of a set of images at different wavelengths in the visible spectrum.

The advantage of using a multispectral image acquisition system based on narrow bandwidth (10 nm) interference filters is discussed and quantitatively compared to colour imaging using tri-stimulus (red, green, blue) filters.

Finally, the potential for automatic identification of ore minerals is discussed with reference to supervised multivariate image classification algorithms similar to those used in remote sensing. Additional comments on extending the principles for handling optical anisotropy and developing a multiradial imaging system are made.

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