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Smart Cameras Get Smarter

How Actionable Data Drives Today’s Imaging Technology Cameras are the eyes of the modern world. The devices equip today’s cars and machines, and real-time imaging capabilities support law enforcement, businesses, and homeowners. Thus far, cameras have been just that: simple cameras, eyes without a brain. Their sole purpose has been, primarily, to output images. Nowadays, however, cameras are “smarter.” In this article, we will review how imaging technology’s ability to intelligently process data will support new insights and applications.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Cameras, Imaging, Photonics, Artificial intelligence, Data acquisition and handling, Imaging and visualization

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Delivering Industrial Reliability in Scientific Lasers

Industrial-strength design and production methodologies improve the quality and productivity of scientific lasers. Scientific laser users have long relied on state-of-the-art performance (e.g., higher peak power, shorter pulse duration, wider wavelength tuning) to achieve groundbreaking results. Unfortunately, this high performance has often been emphasized at the expense of ease-of-use and reliability. Recently, however, this paradigm has dramatically changed, and some of the latest scientific lasers — including complex ultrafast amplifiers — now deliver both cutting-edge performance and exceptional reliability. This advance is sometimes referred to as “The Industrial Revolution in Ultrafast Science.”

Posted in: Articles, Features, Imaging, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics, Amplifiers, Lasers, Reliability

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Machine Vision System Measures ‘Drops’ in Citrus Grove Health

A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher has developed a machine vision system to measure the quantity of a citrus grove’s dropped and decayed oranges. The fallen fruit provides an indication of a so-far incurable disease that has been spreading through Florida’s trees since its first appearance in the state in 2005.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, Imaging, Photonics, Mathematical models, Diseases, Agricultural vehicles and equipment

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Customized Optical Components

Precision Glass & Optics (PG&O) (Santa Ana, CA) announced the customization of two thin-film optical components for a high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) accessory developed by Avotec, Inc. (Stuart, FL). The Real Eye Nano™ is an advanced visual presentation and eye-tracking system constructed entirely of glass and plastic, with a reduced size that makes it ideal for operation in confined MRI spaces. PG&O developed the dielectric cold mirror and cylindrical prism mirror for the Real Eye Nano. The system allows the MRI patient to view a unique visual demonstration concurrently while the patient’s eyes are illuminated with near-infrared (980 nm) light supplied by an IR light-emitting diode (LED)/fused fiber cable/fiber bundle. PG&O contributed expertise in designing and applying the thin-film coating to the large dichroic mirror and in shaping the multi-element lens for this revolutionary fMRI system.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Optical Components

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Industrial Picosecond Lasers

A new generation of industrial picosecond lasers from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) combines high-performance and exceptional reliability in a lower-cost platform to make a wide range of precision materials processing economically viable. The HyperRapid NX product range includes 1064 nm output models with pulse energies as high as 250 μJ (typically with 10 ps pulse duration), at repetition rates up to 2 MHz. This enables high-throughput processes, including enough power for the beam to be split in order to run multiple optical trains within one machine. The product line also includes high-power models with output at 532 nm and 355 nm.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lasers & Laser Systems

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Ultrasonic Piezo Motor Drives

Precision motion and nanopositioning systems specialist PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. (Auburn, MA) recently released the smallest member in their miniature rotary stage series with ultrasonic piezo motor drives. The U-622 is joining two other high dynamics miniaturized ultrasonic rotary positioners, U-624 and U-628. Vacuum compatible versions to 10-6 hPa are available.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics

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Frame Grabber

The FireBird Camera Link Deca board frame grabber from Active Silicon (Iver, UK) is now available in two form factors: a full-height version with front panel IO and a low-profile/half-height version. The low-profile design allows the FireBird Low Profile board to be used in small embedded PC enclosures and rack-mount cases where full-height PC cards are not suitable. A full-height bracket option is available for use in standard PC form-factor enclosures.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics

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