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

Ultra-Stable Beacon Source for Laboratory Testing of Optical Tracking

A prototype laser beacon assembly provides reference for testing tracking and pointing systems.

The ultra-stable beacon source (USBS) provides a laser-beam output with a very low angular jitter and can be used as an absolute angular reference to simulate a beacon in the laboratory. The laser is mounted on the top of a very short (≈1 m) inverted pendulum (IP) with its optical axis parallel to the carbon fiber pendulum leg. The 85-cm, carbon fiber rods making up the leg are very lightweight and rigid, and are supported by a flex-joint at the bottom (see figure). The gimbal-mounted laser is a weight-adjustable load of about 1.5 kg with its center of rotation co-located with the center of percussion of the inverted pendulum. This reduces the coupling of transverse motion at the base of the pendulum to angular motion of the laser at the top.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Lasers, Optics, Composite materials, Mountings, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Delaying Trains of Short Light Pulses in WGM Resonators

Delays would not be limited by resonator ring-down times.

Suitably configured whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) optical resonators have been proposed as delay lines for trains of short light pulses. Until now, it has been common practice to implement an optical delay line as a coiled long optical fiber, which is bulky and tends to be noisy. An alternative has been to implement an optical delay line as a coupled-resonator optical wave-guide (a chain of coupled optical resonators), which is compact but limits the width of the pulse spectrum to the width of an optical resonance and thereby places a lower limit on the duration of a pulse. In contrast, a delay line according to the proposal could be implemented as a single WGM resonator, and the pulses delayed by the resonator could be so short that their spectral widths could greatly exceed the spectral width of any single resonance.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Architecture, Fiber optics, Performance upgrades, Acoustics
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Product of the Month: LED Light Source

Carl Zeiss MicroImaging (Thornwood, NY) introduces the Colibri, a patented, high-performance light emitting diode (LED) light source for fluorescence microscopy. The narrow band LEDs replace conventional white light sources to produce extremely high contrast images with an excellent signal-to-noise ratio, enabling the detection of weak signals and fine details in applications ranging from routine biomedical research to complex live cell imaging. The intensity of the narrow-band LEDs can be quickly and accurately set for any wavelength and exactly adapted to the specimen.

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UV Spectral Metal Coating

Deposition Sciences, Inc. (Santa Rosa, CA) has released the UV Spectral Metal hybrid coating for ultraviolet (UV) curing and UV printing industries. The highly durable, advanced dichroic metal coating is used as the reflector behind the curing lamp. It is designed to maximize curing wavelengths between 220 nm and 400 nm and minimize the rest of the visible and infrared (IR) spectrum from 450 nm to 2200 nm. Mounting features such as slots, screw holes, and tabs can be formed into the mirror after coating.

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Laser Diode Driver and Temperature Controller

Wavelength Electronics (Bozeman, MT) introduces the LDTC 2/2 laser diode driver for integrated laser diode or LED modules that include temperature control, often utilized in medical diagnostic equipment, remote sensing, analytical instrumentation, military, and communication design. The unit combines the WLD3343 temperature controller and the WTC3243 laser diode driver in one compact package that supplies 2.2 amps of drive current to each component. Temperature is controlled by a PI loop with configurable heat and cool current limits. The LDTC 2/2 is compatible with A/B type lasers and allows photodiode power monitoring in constant current mode.

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Picosecond Cold Processing Laser

The RAPID picosecond cold processing laser from RPMC (O’Fallon, MO) has up to 50W TEMoo average power and pulse repetition rates of up to 1MHz. The lasers are ideal for high quality industrial micromachining. Over 10mm3 of material per minute can be abated coldly, without thermal side effects and virtually no heat affected zone, cracks, or burr at the edges. Green and UV outputs are optional. The laser is effective on all materials used in semiconductor, electronics, solar cell, aerospace, automotive, medical, microfluidics, and micro- mold technology.

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Diode Pumped Gain Module

Cutting Edge Optronics (St. Charles, MO) has expanded its line of high power diode pumped gain modules with the release of a Nd:YVO4 version of its RBA pump head. The pump module features a side pumped Nd:Vanadate crystal that delivers over 30 watts of Q Switched average power at 1.064 microns in a linear laser resonator. Nd:Vanadate based lasers are able to operate at high repetition rates with short optical pulses, and are ideal for high speed laser marking of plastics and label materials and other materials processing applications.

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Display Production Test Sequencer

Radiant Imaging (Duvall, WA) introduces the Production Test Sequencer 3.0 (PM-PTS) for production line testing and calibration of displays, including LCD, plasma, and front and rear projection systems. PM-PTS 3.0 is designed for use in production environments to allow automated, objective display performance measurements against user defined quality objectives, increasing testing speed and reducing variation. PM-PTS 3.0 provides users with the ability to set up and automate test sequences from an extensive menu of available tests. The complete PM-PTS 3.0 system consists of a Radiant Imaging PM-1400 Series Imaging Colorimeter for accurate data capture, ProMetric 9.1 software for measurement control and image analysis, and PM-PTS 3.0 for automating test sequences.

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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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