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Spectral Surface Mapping Software

CRAIC Technologies (San Dimas, CA) recently announced Spectral Surface MappingTM (S2MTM) capabilities for its UV-visible-NIR microspectrophotometers. S2MTM gives CRAIC microspectrometer users the ability to map the spectral responses across surfaces of their samples point-by-point. With microscopic spatial resolution, surface profiles can be created using UV-visible-NIR transmission, absorbance, emission, fluorescence and polarization microspectral data. S2MTM can even create maps from Raman microspectral data from the CRAIC ApolloTM Raman microspectrometer. CRAIC microspectrometers can now create highly detailed spectral maps with micron scale resolution rapidly and automatically.

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CMOS Video Camera Platform

Forza Silicon (Pasadena, CA) has introduced the Forza 100+ MP CAM Platform featuring a customizable CMOS image sensor operating at 60 frames per second (fps) and supporting multiple camera resolutions. The dual-mode camera operates in B&W or color and produces high-quality video at the highest resolution and speed available, with minimal motion blur. It is ideal for surveillance applications and particularly useful for large-area image capture. With a proprietary onboard image processor, image sequences can be captured, downloaded, and configured to resolutions approaching 200 MP while maintaining speeds of 60 fps.

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Sapphire Windows

Edmund Optics® (EO) (Barrington, NJ) recently introduced its new TECHSPEC® Precision Sapphire Windows. These windows are ideal for use in a wide variety of demanding applications, including imaging and spectroscopy, as they offer superior broadband transmission from 0.15-5.5 mm. With excellent transmission from the UV to the MWIR, TECHSPEC Precision Sapphire Windows also provide ¼λ surface accuracy. They utilize a high tolerance design and take advantage of the innate characteristics of sapphire - a high dielectric constant, high thermal conductivity, extreme surface hardness and resistance to many chemical acids and alkali, which maximizes system performance. TECHSPEC Precision Sapphire Windows are available in four uncoated sizes -- 10 mm, 15 mm, 20 mm and 25 mm diameters.

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Thermal Chassis Camera

Sierra-Olympic Technologies, Inc. (Hood River, OR) recently introduced the Vinden CZ 320 continuous zoom thermal chassis camera. The first of two camera models in the series, the Vinden CZ 320 is offered in both 60 Hz and 9 Hz frame rates for the widest possible range of domestic and international customers. The system provides 3X optical zoom and 2X digital zoom, for a zoom range of 8.9 degrees to 1.5 degrees. The system is managed by an innovative custom processor which provides critical image processing functions, with extensions for edge analytics.

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NASA Team Proposes Laser for Orbital Debris Tracking

Barry Coyle and Paul Stysley, laser researchers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, want to develop a method to define and track orbital debris using laser ranging — a promising approach that could overcome shortfalls with passive optical and radar techniques, which debris trackers use today to locate and track dead satellites, spacecraft components, and other remnants orbiting in low-Earth or geosynchronous orbits where most space assets reside.Inspired by an Australian study that found laser tracking increased the accuracy of debris ranging by a factor of 10 when compared with other methods, Coyle and Stysley now "want to reproduce the results from this paper on a larger scale," using Goddard’s Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO). The GGAO satellite laser-ranging team, led by Goddard’s Jan McGarry, has advanced laser-ranging techniques using satellites equipped with retro-reflectors, becoming world leaders in the field.GGAO’s 48-inch telescope, which transmits outgoing and receives incoming laser beams, was built in the early 1970s as a research and development and testing facility for laser ranging, lidar, and astronomical instruments. The facility has ranged to spacecraft at planetary distances and has been used to provide on-orbit calibration of some of Goddard’s altimetry spacecraft. NASA also used the facility in 2005 to determine the performance of the laser-altimeter instrument aboard its MESSENGER spacecraft as it flew past Earth during its sojourn to Mercury.Once the team demonstrates ranging with a target not equipped with the retro-reflector, it would like to implement the technique in a global network of ground-based laser observatories to observe and more accurately track debris, thus aiding the world’s current debris-tracking efforts.Although it’s difficult removing the material itself, NASA mission operators can minimize its impact on operational space assets. They can move non-operational spacecraft to less populated orbits to remove the threat to new missions or allow dead craft to re-enter the atmosphere, where they burn up upon entry. What’s essential is that these assets are tracked and monitored to protect active and future missions from potentially harmful collisions, Coyle said.SourceAlso: Learn about a Debris & Ice Mapping Analysis Tool.

Posted in: Photonics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Aerospace, RF & Microwave Electronics, News

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Biomimetic Photodetector “Sees” in Color

Rice University researchers have created a CMOS-compatible, biomimetic color photodetector that directly responds to red, green, and blue light in much the same way the human eye does. The new device uses an aluminum grating that can be added to silicon photodetectors with CMOS technology.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Photonics, Sensors, Detectors, News

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'Cloaking' Device Uses Ordinary Lenses to Hide Objects

Inspired perhaps by Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, scientists have recently developed several ways to hide objects from view. The latest effort, begun at the University of Rochester, not only overcomes some of the limitations of previous devices, but also uses inexpensive, readily available materials in a novel configuration.Forgoing specialized components, John Howell, a professor of physics at the University of Rochester, and graduate student Joseph Choi developed a combination of four standard lenses that keeps the object hidden as the viewer moves up to several degrees away from the optimal viewing position.“This is the first device that we know of that can do three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking, which works for transmitting rays in the visible spectrum,” said Choi, a PhD student at Rochester’s Institute of Optics.While their device is not quite like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, Howell had some thoughts about potential applications, including using cloaking to effectively let a surgeon “look through his hands to what he is actually operating on." The same principles could be applied to a truck to allow drivers to see through blind spots on their vehicles. SourceAlso: Learn about ELID Grinding of Large Aspheres.

Posted in: Photonics, Optics, Surgical Robotics/Instruments, Medical, Transportation, Automotive, News

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