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Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing
Mechanoresponsive Healing Polymers
Variable Permeability Magnetometer Systems and Methods for Aerospace Applications
Evaluation Standard for Robotic Research
Small Robot Has Outstanding Vertical Agility
Smart Optical Material Characterization System and Method
Lightweight, Flexible Thermal Protection System for Fire Protection
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Miniature Incandescent Lamps as Fiber-Optic Light Sources

These lamps can be used without coupling optics. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio Miniature incandescent lamps of a special type have been invented to satisfy a need for compact, rapid-response, rugged, broadband, power-efficient, fiber-optic-coupled light sources for diverse purposes that could include calibrating spectrometers, interrogating optical sensors, spot illumination, and spot heating. A lamp of this type (see figure) includes a re-entrant planar spiral filament mounted within a ceramic package heretofore normally used to house an integrated-circuit chip. The package is closed with a window heretofore normally used in ultraviolet illumination to erase volatile electronic memories. The size and shape of the filament and the proximity of the filament to the window are such that light emitted by the filament can be coupled efficiently to an optical fiber without intervening optics.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Fiber optics, Optics, Fabrication

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Prism Window for Optical Alignment

Prism windows could be generally useful in manufacture of optical instruments. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A prism window has been devised for use, with an autocollimator, in aligning optical components that are (1) required to be oriented parallel to each other and/or at a specified angle of incidence with respect to a common optical path and (2) mounted at different positions along the common optical path. The prism window can also be used to align a single optical component at a specified angle of incidence. Prism windows could be generally useful for orienting optical components in manufacture of optical instruments.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Optics

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Range-Gated Metrology With Compact Optical Head

A compact, single-fiber optical head requires minimal internal alignment. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California This work represents a radical simplification in the design of the optical head needed for high-precision laser ranging applications. The optical head is now a single fiber-optic collimator with dimensions of order of 1×1×2 cm, which can be easily integrated into the system being measured with minimal footprint. Previous heads were significantly larger, with multiple optical elements requiring careful alignment. The new design has only one optical fiber per head, rather than four, making it much easier to multiplex between tens or hundreds of heads. It is capable of subnanometer precision, consistent with the demanding requirements of new missions.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Downsizing, Fiber optics, Lasers, Parts

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Product of the Month: Coherent OTDR

Anritsu Company (Richardson, TX) introduces the MW90010A Coherent OTDR (C-OTDR) that can detect faults with 10-meter resolution, and collect 1.2 million data points for accurate analysis on optical submarine cables up to 12,000 km in length. The C-OTDR captures waveform data, including cable loss, bending loss, and fiber length, and can measure optical submarine cables with optical repeaters spaced at intervals of 80 km or more. Its measurement size of 320 × 177 × 451 mm, and weight of

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Microscopy System

Toshiba Imaging Systems Division (Irvine, CA) has partnered with Olympus Canada (Markham, Ontario) to offer the High Definition Synergy-HD Microscope Imaging System, a new tool for clinical pathology and teaching. Olympus integrated Toshiba’s ultra-compact IK-HD1 3CCD HDTV camera with its line of clinical microscopes that feature objectives and optics well suited for digital imaging. The system includes a high-definition, 42" or 47" 1080p LCD monitor, and delivers video imagery in real time, displaying the entire slide at all ROIs and magnifications.

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Photon Laser Diode Modules

Photonic Products Ltd. (Hertfordshire, UK) offers 35mW and 60mW versions of their 405nm (blue-violet) Photon laser diode modules with TTL modulation. The laser modules produce an elliptical output beam of 3.5 × 2mm with TTL modulation input, which will accept signals from DC up to 1 kHz and can be used to enable, inhibit, or modulate the laser. Operating voltage is from 8V to 10V D. The laser modules are ideal for industrial and medical imaging and inspection, and high-resolution printing.

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Vision System

Cognex (Natick, MA) introduces five new models of the In-Sight Micro vision system, including a two-megapixel model, in packages that measure just 30mm × 30mm × 60mm. The vision system has EasyBuilderTM configuration software and a Vision-ViewTM operator interface display. The In-Sight Micro is ideal for mounting in very tight spaces on robots, production lines, and machinery. The system has flexible mounting capability with a non-linear calibration tool that enables mounting at angles of up to 45-degrees for hard-to-reach applications.

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