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Range-Gated Metrology With Compact Optical Head

A compact, single-fiber optical head requires minimal internal alignment. 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: Photonics, Briefs, TSP

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Prism Window for Optical Alignment

Prism windows could be generally useful in manufacture of optical instruments. 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: Photonics, Briefs, TSP

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Multipurpose Transaction Protocol: A New Data Transport Model

It is no secret that high-performance and the Internet are often seen as contradictory terms. Even private IP networks see serious performance challenges once they extend beyond the local building and around the globe. As devices and their users become more mobile, it has become critical to design with high-speed, Wide Area Networks in mind. But software and hardware designers are traditionally given few choices and little control for ensuring high network performance.

Posted in: Articles, Articles

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Miniature Incandescent Lamps as Fiber-Optic Light Sources

These lamps can be used without coupling optics. 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: Photonics, Briefs, TSP

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NbxTi1–xN Superconducting-Nanowire Single-Photon Detectors

Potential applications include optical communications and quantum cryptography. Superconducting- nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) in which NbxTi1–xN (where x

Posted in: Photonics, Briefs

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Lossless, Multi-Spectral Data Compressor for Improved Compression for Pushbroom-Type Instruments

A modified data compression algorithm could be used on commercial satellites or other applications with multispectral imaging instruments. A low-complexity lossless algorithm for compression of multispectral data has been developed that takes into account pushbroom-type multispectral imagers’ properties in order to make the file compression more effective. These types of imagers use a detector array to acquire data in spatial-spectral slices. Each detector element corresponds to a specific spectral band and cross-track position. Because the characteristics of detector elements generally vary somewhat from element to element, cross-track adjacent samples in a given spectral band are not as similar as they are in an instrument that uses the same detector for all samples in a given spectral band (e.g. in a whiskbroom-type instrument). Along-track adjacent samples will tend to be very similar.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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