Special Coverage

Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing

Laser Diode Controller

VueMetrix Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) has released the Vue-MV-40 laser diode controller with DiodeGuard, VueMetrix’s proprietary laser diode protection circuitry. The high-power, low-noise controller is ideal for applications that use 15-20 discrete diodes operated in series, including fiber lasers and amplifiers, materials processing, and medical systems. The Vue-MV-40 is available in 40V, 10A and 27V, 15A configurations. It can be operated via RS-232, USB, or analog inputs in either CW or pulsed mode.

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Flat Panel Heaters

Watlow® (St. Louis, MO) offers large thick film flat panel heaters ideal for the photovoltaic (PV) industry’s transition to processing PV cells on large glass, stainless steel, and polymer substrates. The large thick film heater plate can be produced in single sheets or an array of small heaters to achieve dimensions of larger than 1200×1400 mm with process heater temperatures up to 550°C. The heaters can be used in atmospheric or vacuum environments.

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Radhard Fiber Optic Cable

Linden Photonics (Westford, MA) has developed the Strong Tether Fiber Optic Cable (STFOC), a 0.030"diameter cable with a tensile strength in excess of 50 lbs. STFOC is radhard, impervious to moisture and oxygen, chemically stable, and capable of operating at up to 250°C. Custom versions are designed to work over 300°C. Linden has also developed “STFOC Non-Kink” which is virtually unkinkable. This fiber optic cable combines all features of the standard STFOC, while adding a protective secondary non-kinking layer.

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Galvanometer Mirrors

Reynard Corporation (San Clemente, CA) has released high precision coatings Galvanometer mirrors for laser system applications such as scanners, bar code readers, sweeping remote sensors, marking systems, and laser light shows. A mirror is modulated on its centered axis, causing a static laser beam to scan in a one-dimensional orientation. Adding a second Galvo mirror allows for scanning in two dimensions. The Galvo mirror coatings can achieve reflectivity of greater than 99.9% and are able to withstand the most rigid durability requirements per military specifications, including temperature/humidity and salt fog requirements per MIL-C-48497A.

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Optical Edge Filters

Semrock (Rochester, NY) has introduced optical edge filters for Raman spectroscopy and fluorescence imaging. The EdgeBasicTM long-wave-pass filters are hard-coated optical filters that have high transmission of 98% typically, and laser-line blocking with an optical density greater than 6. The filters have an edge steepness that is tailored for cost-sensitive, application-specific Raman systems that do not require measurement of the smallest possible Raman shifts, as well as for sensitive fluorescence imaging systems that demand maximum signal capture.

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Turnkey Diode Laser System

A new turnkey diode laser system from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) delivers 75W of power at either 808 nm from a 200 μm core 0.22 NA (numerical aperture) fiber, or 976 nm from a 400 μm core 0.22 NA fiber. The HB-diode system is a fully integrated, microprocessor controlled instrument that operates from 110/220 VAC, and enables user control of diode output through either a front panel keypad or electronic interface, including analog, TTL, RS-232 and RS-485.

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Fiber Optic Rotary Encoder

The EC-TD5207 ZapFreeTM Fiber Optic Rotary Encoder from Micronor Inc. (Newbury Park, CA) is a passive, safe, non-metallic fiber optic rotary encoder designed specifically for use in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems used in hospitals, medical research, and industrial applications. The MR310 Remote Encoder Interface (REI) module features direct A/B pull-up and A/A’/B/B’ line driver quadrature outputs, and multiplier/divider function with separate A/A’/B/B’ LD outputs. The basic TD5207 encoder offers 200ppr resolution in a 3.0" square flange housing. Other configurations and performance options can be engineered.

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LED-Based Backlights

Global Lighting Technologies (Brecksville, OH) has introduced LED-based high-brightness backlights that offer thinness down to 0.4 mm for backlighting LCDs in consumer electronics products such as the keypads/keyboards used in mobile phones, laptops, and desktop PCs. The BLUs offer the thinness of electroluminescent (EL) backlighting, but with the advantages of advanced LEDs and with the superior light extraction provided by MicroLensTM molded light guides. Backlight assemblies less than 1mm high utilizing light guides as thin as 0.4mm or less are available.

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Spectral Irradiance Meter

The BSR112 is a miniature Spectral Irradiance Meter from B&W Tek, Inc. (Newark, DE) designed for field, industrial, and lab applications. BSR112 comes with a plug-and-play USB 2.0/1.1 interface. Standard software features include timeline recording, data smoothing, color measurement, chromaticity, color temperature, external triggered pulsed light capturing, and other data handling functions. The spectral irradiance meter is ideal for lamp/LED characterization and color analysis, solar studies, photostability testing, photobiology, and photochemistry.

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Reflective Electro-Absorption Modulator

CIP Technologies (Ipswich, UK) offers a reflective electro-absorption modulator (R-EAM) for applications including 10 Gbit/s wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) passive optical networks (PONs). The R-EAM-1550-LS operates in the C band (1550 nm), and has a very low optical insertion loss of 3.5 dB typical. It will also operate with low drive voltages, and has low polarization dependent loss (0.3 dB typical).

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