Terahertz Quantum Cascade Laser With Efficient Coupling and Beam Profile

High-power QCLs can be used in medical instruments, security screening equipment, and illicit material detection.

Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) are unipolar semiconductor lasers, where the wavelength of emitted radiation is determined by the engineering of quantum states within the conduction band in coupled multiple-quantum-well heterostructures to have the desired energy separation. The recent development of terahertz QCLs has provided a new generation of solid-state sources for radiation in the terahertz frequency range. Terahertz QCLs have been demonstrated from 0.84 to 5.0 THz both in pulsed mode and continuous wave mode (CW mode).

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Lasers, Waveguides
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Measurement Via Optical Near-Nulling and Subaperture Stitching

This simple and universal technique uses adjustable corrective optics.

A subaperture stitching interferometer system provides near-nulling of a subaperture wavefront reflected from an object of interest over a portion of a surface of the object. A variable optical element located in the radiation path adjustably provides near-nulling to facilitate stitching of subaperture interferograms, creating an interferogram representative of the entire surface of interest. This enables testing of aspheric surfaces without null optics customized for each surface prescription.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Physical Sciences, Measurements, Optics
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Stereo Vision Camera Reference Design

e-con Systems Inc. (St. Louis, MO) has introduced the world’s first stereo vision camera reference design based on Texas Instruments’ OMAP/DM37x family of processors and Gumstix® Overo® computer-on-module (COM) series. The stereo camera reference design, code-named Capella, includes a DM3730-based Gumstix® Overo® WaterStorm COM, a Gumstix® Tobi expansion board, and e-con’s camera daughter board e-CAM_9V024_STEREO. The Capella reference design comes with a software development kit with full source code for application development on top of V4L2 or OpenCV, enabling customers to develop their own stereo vision camera-based applications. e-con Systems also provides sample applications with source, for applications such as synchronous stereo image capture, depth measurement, etc.

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Laser System

Carl Zeiss Microscopy (Peabody, MA) has launched the AURIGA® Laser, a new system that combines the AURIGA® CrossBeam (FIB-SEM) workstation with a pulsed micro-focus laser for fast ablation of material. The AURIGA® Laser examines samples where the target structure is buried under material layers. Ablation with a pulsed micro-focus laser beam preserves the sample, while enabling ablation rates comparable to mechanical removal. The scanning laser is a nanosecond-pulsed, diode-pumped solid-state laser operating at 355 nm provided by Trumpf AG (Ditzingen, Germany).

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PoE Cameras

Edmund Optics® (Barrington, NJ) has introduced new Power over Ethernet (PoE) cameras. Each device includes software that allows the user to set area of interest (AOI), gain, exposure, white balance, frame rate, trigger delay, and digital output (flash) delay and duration. The software can also implement edge enhancement, image mirroring and binning, and hot pixel correction.

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Laser Beam Analysis System

Spiricon (North Logan, UT) has introduced BeamMic™, a new laser beam analyzer that combines the essentials for beam analysis in a low-cost, entry-level system. BeamMic includes easy-to-use software that measures a beam’s size, shape, uniformity, and mode content. Beam intensity profiles are displayed simultaneously in 2D and 3D. Statistical analyses can be performed on measurement functions and min/max limits can be set for pass/fail testing. Results are logged and can be exported to industry standard formats. A configurable report generator allows cutting and pasting of results, images, and settings. BeamMic software is integrated with one of four Spiricon USB CCD cameras designed specifically for beam measurements.

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Optical Sensor

Maxim Integrated Products (Sunnyvale, CA) offers the MAX44000, a digital ambient-light and infrared proximity sensor that detects light like a human eye. Designed using the company’s proprietary BiCMOS technology, the IC integrates three optical sensors, two ADCs, and digital functionality into a 2mm x 2mm x 0.6mm package.

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3D Polarizing Filters

American Polarizers (Reading, PA) has introduced glass 3D circular polarizing filters for use with dual projection systems. API filters feature a range of sizes up to 14" x 20". Tight control of transmission characteristics gives the filters low ghosting properties when used with high-light-output projection systems of up to 30,000 lumens. Anti-reflective coatings on both sides enhance light transmission properties. Standard axis configuration is 0°/90°, but nonstandard axis configurations can be customized whether for circularly or elliptically polarized filters.

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Laser Diode

Renesas Electronics (Tokyo, Japan) and California Eastern Laboratories (Santa Clara, CA) are now sampling the 405-nm Blue-Violet Laser Diode, the NV4V31MF. The NV4V31MF provides precise laser emission supporting particle measurement, industrial precision measurement including location measurement and surface uniformity detection, holography, lithography, wafer processing equipment, and bio-medical instrumentation. The NV4V31MF provides designers with a Blue-Violet Laser Diode in a 3.8 mm CAN package. The NV4V31MF has an optical output power (CW) of 175mW @ 150mA, peak emission wavelength of 405 nm, and an operating temperature range of 5°C to 85°C.

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Inlet Funnels on Mars Rover Are Validated Using Scanning Laser Vibrometry

NASA’s latest mission to Mars in November 2011 sent the Mars Science Laboratory rover “Curiosity” to assess whether Mars ever had, or still has, an environment able to support life. While on Mars, Curiosity will collect soil and environmental samples, and analyze the samples on location. Preventing contamination of the rover is critical to ensure that Curiosity’s data collection and analysis yields accurate results. Thus, engineering models and flight models are tested separately to validate design requirements of the various systems aboard the rover.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Lasers & Laser Systems, Lasers, Vibration, Test procedures, Spacecraft
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