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Labsphere HELIOS Advanced Uniform Light Sources

Labsphere HELIOS Uniform Light Source

An internally illuminated integrating sphere provides uniform radiance (luminance) or irradiance for testing and calibrating optical instrumentation. Labsphere’s HELIOS advanced integrating sphere uniform light sources offer a solution to industry needs where no “one-size-fits-all” testing solution will serve every customer. There are over 50 standard HELIOS configurations that span a huge range of validated, tested and characterised solutions - each one callibrated with the lowest commercially available uncertainty in the industry. Additionally, the product’s modular design, open architecture software, flexible spectra and future-proofed expandability enables users to meet demanding testing challenges in testing electronic imaging systems, image sensors, spectroradiometers, photometers and remote sensing instruments.

Scroll down for details on the HELIOS models

One Size Does NOT Fit All!

Labsphere recognised that the market required a range of optimised, standard products and spent several years developing the HELIOS family of uniform light sources. HELIOS combines the optimised performance of a custom product with the advantages (full performance characterisation, ease of use etc) of a standard product. If a standard HELIOS source still does not meet your needs, we are happy to consult on a custom solution - click here for details.

Configure Your Perfect System

Standard HELIOS sphere diameters are 8, 12 and 20 inches (200, 300 and 500mm). Illumination choices include tungsten halogen (internal and external options), xenon discharge (which approximates a cooler, 6000K spectrum), plasma discharge (combines halogen-like stability with a 5200K CCT) and LED (offered on a custom basis - see TruLume sources). Your choice of on-board monitoring includes silicon and InGaAs photodiode as well as spectrometers. Continuous luminance (radiance) adjustment is by means of standard and high resolution electronic variable attenuators or a manual variable attenuator, while step-wise adjustment can be effected by switching one or more lamps on or off on multi-lamp spheres.

Flexible Control Options

System control is from Labsphere's configurable HELIOSense software. Employing a LabVIEW® user interface, control is local or remote with HELIOS D, A & L series (Labsphere's CUBE computer is embedded for local control). On HELIOS V & S series, control is remote only from the customer-provided PC. The HELIOSense SDK LabVIEW® source code is available as an optional upgrade for those customers who wish to interface to the sphere through ther own UI.

Applications Galore

Applications for HELIOS uniform light sources include:

  • Testing cameras, image sensors and focal plane arrays
  • Testing and calibrating multi-spectral & hyper-spectral imagers
  • Ground truth and vicarious calibration in space science & remote sensing
  • Calibration of satellite remote sensing instrumentation
  • Calibration of photometers, imaging colorimeters & spectroradiometers
  • Low light level testing of night vision and low light level sensors
  • Testing of unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles (UAV)
  • Testing of sensors used in automobiles and for autonomous vehicles



Wide Dynamic Range Sources


Air Mass Albedo Sunlight Sources


Low Light Level Sources


The HELIOS D family of high performance uniform light sources provide a wide dynamic range (up to 167dB) of brightness, from full day light down to night vision radiance. Typical application is calibration of satellite remote sensing instruments.

» HELIOS D Datasheet


The HELIOS A family of uniform light sources have an enhanced UV/blue output and provide an air-mass-Albedo solar spectrum of AM1 down to night vision radiance levels (150dB dynamic range). Typical applications in testing airbourne and remote sensing instruments.

» HELIOS A Datasheet


The HELIOS L series of low light level uniform light sources meet MIL specifications for precision night vision and low light level sensor testing. Standard CCT is 2856K, with the option of spectrally filtering the radiance output.

» HELIOS L Datasheet


Variable Luminance, Modular Sources


Static Light Level, Modular Sources




HELIOS V combines affordability with continuous, manual luminance adjustment. The dynamic range is sufficient for testing most 12-bit cameras and sensor systems.

» HELIOS V Datasheet


The affordable HELIOS S gets the job done with a minimum of fuss. Luminance adjustment is by means of lamp activation/deactivation on multi-lamp spheres. Single lamp spheres output a highly stable, fixed brightness.

» HELIOS S Datasheet




Related Products
Case Studies

> Remote Sensing

This case study describes how an integrating sphere is used in the Met Office's Facility for Airbourne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM).

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