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Large-Area, Polarization-Sensitive Bolometer for Multi-Mode Optics

This type of detector will be used by the PIXIE mission to map the microwave sky in polarization, opening a new window to the earliest moments of the universe. Polarization-sensitive bolometer measures linear polarization of the cosmic microwave background. (Left) Prototype detector. The absorber in the central square fills a small fraction of the optical area, but is opaque to microwaves. (Center) Schematic diagram showing the absorbing wires and sensing thermistors. (Right) Photomicrograph showing absorbing wires and the crystalline silicon end bank. Measurements of the cosmic microwave background are a powerful probe of the early universe. Part-per-million fluctuations in the intensity of background trace the initial conditions of matter and energy shortly after the Big Bang, mapping the large-scale structure of spacetime. Now, new measurements in linear polarization at sensitivities of a few parts per billion can look behind these initial conditions to test physics at energies a trillion times higher than terrestrial accelerators, and perhaps even provide a glimpse of quantum gravity in action.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Measurements, Optics, Radiation

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Autonomous Driving — In a ‘Flash’

By combining CMOS technology with avalanche photodiodes, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS (Duisburg, Germany) have developed a potentially cost-effective sensor prototype that aims to support driverless car applications. The “Flash LiDAR” could play a valuable role alongside the cameras, radars, and other components within autonomous vehicles.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Lidar, Sensors and actuators, Product development, Semiconductors, Autonomous vehicles

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Infrared Cameras Support Advanced 3D Printing Efforts

Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, is quite literally one of the most innovative technologies revolutionizing manufacturing today, in terms of both industry “buzz” and thermal properties. Unlike subtractive manufacturing methods such as machining, the growing range of AM technologies creates components directly from a computer model, adding material only where needed. Wohlers Associates, a leading independent consulting firm focused on these technologies, is forecasting that the value of the worldwide AM market will grow to more than $10.8 billion by 2021, up from just $2.2 billion in 2012. That rapid escalation, however, isn't the result of hobbyists buying desktop 3D printers that cost a few hundred dollars.

Posted in: Articles, Cameras, Imaging, Photonics, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Optics, Market research, Technical review, Additive manufacturing

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Wireless Tamper Detection Sensor and Sensing System

The sensors can detect and locate cracks, material strain, or impact damage.NASA's Langley Research Center researchers have developed a wireless, connection-free inductor capacitor sensor system that can be placed on or embedded in materials and structures to monitor for and detect damage. The sensors can also be used to detect package tampering and pilfering. This innovation — SansEC (Sans Electrical Connections) — makes sensors more damage resilient and more environmentally friendly to manufacture and use.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Capacitors, Sensors and actuators, Wireless communication systems, Diagnostics, Packaging

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CERTIFICATES AND SIGNATURES: How to Ensure Authentication in the IoT

On October 21, 2016, the Internet saw a significant distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, conducted via a botnet comprising many co-opted Internet-connected devices. The attackers of the network infrastructure were able to control these Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices for a number of reasons, including a lack of strong authentication. Loaded software turned the machines into puppets that interfered with Internet traffic for millions of users.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors, Cryptography, Cyber security, Internet of things

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A New Clinical Challenge: Making Sense of Heart Failure

Cardiologist Dr. John Boehmer spends many of his days assisting individuals who have heart disease, a condition affecting approximately 5.7 million US adults, according to the American Heart Association.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Cardiovascular system, Diagnosis, Diseases

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Researchers Turn iPhone Camera into Optical Sensor

By integrating an optical Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or MEMS, chip into an iPhone camera, researchers at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have developed a new, cost-effective kind of hyperspectral technology. The spectral device will provide mobile device users and consumers with new ways to monitor their environments, including quick food analysis, health checks, and other Internet-connected sensing. Research team leader Anna Rissanen works actively with companies to enable commercialization and new business development based on the team's various sensors.

Posted in: Articles, Optics, Sensors, Microelectromechanical devices, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Research and development

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