Special Coverage

Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
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

Fiber Optics Testing Platform

M2 Optics (Raleigh, NC) has introduced the rugged Fiber Lab 800HE testing platform, suitable for applications where rough handling and harsh conditions are common, such as field and laboratory testing, manufacturing environments, and military systems. The testing platform provides a protective enclosure that contains the fiber and holds panel-mounted optical connectors, serving to prevent damage and facilitate handling.

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Avalanche Photodiode Receiver

Voxtel (Beaverton, OR) has introduced an avalanche photodiode (APD) receiver with 1-GHz bandwidth and a large 200-μm diameter optical area. The RIP1-NJAC APD photoreceiver integrates the low-excess-noise SCM-APD with a low-noise transimpedance amplifier (TIA). It offers a maximum responsivity over 50 A/W at 1550 nm, with operating gain up to 50. A single-stage thermoelectric cooler is included to eliminate temperature-induced gain variation. An optional fiber pigtail is available.

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Logarithmic Sensor

New Imaging Technologies (Evry, France) has introduced the MD1-10-B logarithmic sensor, which uses an array of photodiodes operated in photovoltaic mode. In most logarithmic imager designs, linear photo current passes through a MOS transistor whose exponential characteristic transforms photo current into a logarithmic-like voltage output signal. In NIT’s MAGIC approach, the array of photodiodes is operated in photovoltaic mode and the open-circuit voltage across the p/n junction is proportional to the exact and pure logarithmic value of the incident light intensity. When equipped with the sensor, the MCD1-10-BW analog camera modules provide dynamic range performance greater than 120 dB.

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EBTN LCDs

Lumex (Palatine, IL) has introduced the InfoVue EBTN (Enhanced Background Twisted Nematic) family of custom negative image TN LCD technology. The LCDs offer a contrast ratio of 300 to 1, and are RoHS compliant. They are available in sizes ranging from 1.0 in2 to 5 in2. Sharp, crisp negative images can be displayed using any color backlight.

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DPSS Industrial Laser

Spectra-Physics® (Santa Clara, CA) offers the 355-2 Q-switched diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) industrial laser, which provides over 2W of 355nm output at 90 kHz and a short pulse width of less than 25ns. Features include a motorized third harmonic crystal shifter for stable UV power, an automatic laser purification system (ALPS) to actively clean the UV laser cavity and extend laser life, and automatic data logging.

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CMOS Machine Vision Camera

Viewbits (San Diego, CA) offers the Iyeron™, a 12 megapixel CMOS machine vision camera. It is shock-resistant with a 1.9" CMOS monochrome progressive scan sensor, and offers HXGA 4906 (H) × 3072 (V) pixel resolution at a full frame speed of 25 fps. A programmable Window of Interest (WOI) partial scanning mode offers faster frame speed and can be programmed to display up to 28 square windows within one image. It features high sensitivity of 2000 lx (F5.6), large square pixels (6.0 μm × 6.0 μm), a random trigger shutter, an electric global shutter, a wide dynamic range (multi-slope), and a compact size of less than three inches wide.

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5-Megapixel APO-Xenoplan Lens

Schneider Optics (Van Nuys, CA) has introduced the 5-megapixel APOXenoplan 1.8/35mm lens for 2/3" CMOS/CCD sensors. It features apochromatic correction and broadband coating, is suitable for luminescence applications at 1200nm, and accommodates small pixel sizes of 3.45μ or less.

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Rapid Automated Modular Microscope System

The Rapid Automated Modular Microscope (RAMM) system from Applied Scientific Instrumentation (Eugene, OR) offers a modular design with automated high-speed XY stages, precision piezo and motorized Z focusing, along with a range of scanning options. It is configurable with infinity-corrected optics, dichroic filter cubes, multi-wavelength excitation and emission filterwheels, shutters, and detectors, including cameras and photomultipliers. A wide range of features can be added, including auto-focus, focus stabilization, tracker, and robotic specimen loader. It is suitable for applications in high throughput screening, genetic sequencing, and experimental research. It is designed using high MTBF components to reduce cost.

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Machine Vision Software

Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) has introduced a new release of VisionPro®, its hardware-independent machine vision software. Vision- Pro 6.1 includes support for Microsoft® Windows 7 and offers line scan distortion correction that eliminates horizontal lens distortion and equalizes pixel width across the sensor. The software also makes calibrating line scan cameras easier by generating the required data using a set of lines from a still object. Analog and Camera Link frame grabbers are compatible with Windows 7 in VisionPro 6.1, and FireWire DCAM and GigE vision drivers have been updated for Windows 7 compatibility. VisionPro 6.1 also introduces ToolBlock, an enhancement to ToolGroup. It adds new features such as Drag & Drop Terminal, a graphical method for linking multiple vision tools, and Simple Script, which reduces the amount of scripting needed to set up complex applications.

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Plug & Play Driver for Pulsed Laser Diodes

Laser Components (Hudson, NH) offers the LSP40 plug & play driver module, which can be used to accurately control pulsed laser diodes (PLDs). With two resistors, the user is able to regulate the operating current (and thus the laser power) and the pulse length. It requires an operating voltage of 12 VDC and an external trigger signal. The laser current can be set to any value up to 40A, and the pulse length can be set to between 30ns and 150ns. At a reduced current, pulse lengths up to 1μs are achievable.

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