Development of a Sodium LiDAR for Spaceborne Missions

Laser and electro-optic technologies are under development to remotely measure sodium (Na) by adapting existing LiDAR technology with spaceflight heritage. The developed instrumentation will serve as the core for planning a heliophysics mission targeted to study the composition and dynamics of Earth's mesosphere based on a spaceborne LiDAR that will measure the mesospheric Na layer.

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Invertible Time Invariant Linear Filtering (InTILF) Method for Pattern Detection and Modeling of Stochastic One- or Two-Dimensional Data

This tool can analyze and model surface metrology data for polishing-tool fabricators.

X-ray astronomy offers the opportunity to observe important phenomena, including the early accretion of massive black holes and detecting diffuse ionized intergalactic gas that is heated to X-ray temperatures (>106). One of the technical challenges facing X-ray astronomy is fabricating optics that are properly shaped and smooth enough to produce quality images. Surface defects on the order of the wavelength of the observed spectrum and up to the size of the optical surface must be polished out of the mirrors without leaving a detectable pattern because the detectable signal is on the order of magnitude of the noise. This leads to a cycle of polishing and metrology that adds time and expense to optics fabrication.

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Get Optical Products to Market Faster Using Modern Virtual Prototyping

Companies developing cutting-edge lasers, optics, and imaging products face significant hurdles getting products to market ahead of competitors. Learn about a new way for optical and mechanical engineers to collaborate that’s changing the way leading companies develop optical products. Learn:

Posted in: White Papers, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics
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Fiber Optic Rotary Joints Add a Spin to Sensing, Mobile, and Robotic Fiber Systems

To the passing optical signals, fiberoptic rotary joints (FORJs) are nothing more than fiber connectors, which provide connection between one or multiple fibers. Their unrestricted ability to rotate, however, gives them a critical role in many sensing, mobile, and robotic fiber systems such as ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), aerostat radars, submarines, satellite antennae, OCT (optical coherence tomography), mining vehicles, cranes, wind turbines, robotic vehicles, broadcasting (mobile cameras), etc. This article discusses some of the applications where optical rotary joints are indispensable.

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New Products: May 2017 Photonics & Imaging Insider

High Efficiency Double Spot Beam Splitter

LASER COMPONENTS (Bedford, NH) has introduced the HEDS (High Efficiency Double Spot) beam splitter. Double spot beam splitters are diffractive optical elements (DOE) used for separating an incoming laser beam into two identical beams. They are most commonly used in lithography as well as high power applications such as cutting and perforation. Until now, a small portion of light was lost in higher diffraction orders. Some applications cannot tolerate even a 1% loss, so this DOE boasts an efficiency well above the standard value of 81%. HEDS is available in wavelengths between 193 nm and 10.6 µm.

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Scanning Electron Microscope

JEOL USA (Peabody, MA) has introduced a new Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) that combines the performance of a Field Emission SEM with the simplicity of the JEOL InTouchScope™ SEM series. The new JSM-IT300HR features a rugged in-chamber specimen stage and large chamber to accommodate a wide variety of samples of different shapes, sizes, and weights. The specimen chamber’s twelve geometrically-optimized analytical ports allow for multiple detectors, creating a virtual nano-lab inside the SEM. Low vacuum capability is a standard feature and allows for imaging and analysis of all types of samples in their native state.

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Optical Transmitter

The Micro ATx high-fidelity optical transmitter from APIC Corporation (Culver City, CA) combines an ultra-low-RIN (-168 dB/Hz) continuous wavelength (CW) laser (1530-1565 nm), a low Vπ amplitude modulator, a low noise amplifier, power conditioning and control electronics into a small yet rugged package (14 x 5 x 2 cm). When used in combination with APIC’s highly linear 20 GHz analog receiver, the resultant link performance, with a selectable low noise amplifier (LNA), has a gain greater than 8 dB; a noise figure (NF) lower than 8 dB; an SFDR ~ 111 dBHz2/3; and an RF bandwidth from DC through 20 GHz.

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20 GHz Realtime Spectrum Analyzer

Saelig Company, Inc. (Fairport, NY) has introduced the Spectran HF-80200 V5 RSA rack-mounted real-time 9kHz-20GHz Spectrum Analyzer that can capture even intermittent signal transmissions. The Spectran HF-80200 V5 RSA scans from 9kHz to 20GHz in less than 20mS, so that even erratic transmissions or interference can be captured. The HF-80200 V5 is controllable through a USB interface or LAN/Ethernet, allowing continuous logging and streaming of almost any frequency range, and direct access to the analyzer through an Internet-connected PC. It offers AM and FM demodulation. All V5 rackmount spectrum analyzers are housed in a durable aluminum case and feature a built-in 20dB preamplifier.

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Line Scan Cameras

Teledyne e2v (Chelmsford, UK) has developed OctoPlus, a new range of line scan cameras for Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) applications. OctoPlus is based on new image sensor pixel architecture and is specifically tuned to provide the most accurate images of the retina and cornea; mapping tissue structure, measuring thickness and visualizing blood flow dynamics for diagnostics. Specific advantages of OctoPlus include a 250 percent larger field of view compared to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved commercial Swept Source OCT (SS-OCT) and a +5dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in comparison with equipment currently available in Spectral-Domain OCT (SD-OCT).

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Red to Near-IR Enhanced Photodiode

Opto Diode Corporation (Camarillo, CA) has introduced the NXIR-5C, a red to near-infrared (NIR) enhanced photodiode with a circular active area of 5 mm2. With a spectral response from 320 nm to 1100 nm, the rugged photodiode is housed in a custom 4.7 mm x 4.9 mm ceramic carrier surface-mount device (SMD) package. The NXIR-5C provides superior responsivity with low reverse bias and high sensitivity at 0.62 A/W @ 850 nm and 0.35 A/W at 1064 nm. It has low dark current at 1nA, low capacitance of 5 pico-farads (pF) at 10 volts, and high shunt resistance greater than 100 MΩ.

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E-Arm Focus Mount with LED Ring Light

Aven’s (Ann Arbor, MI) E-Arm Focus Mount with Integrated LED Ring Light and independent brightness Controller provides ease of use for inspection purposes. An eco-friendly 60 LED ring light provides even, shadow-free illumination, and a variable light control adds flexibility. These energy-efficient LEDs provide a minimum of 20,000 hours of high-output illumination. The adjustable tilt of the E-arm permits a variety of inspection angles. The E-Arm Focus Mount is compatible with all Aven Binocular and Trinocular Stereo Zoom Microscopes, Boom and Articulating Arm Stands.

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Programmable Light Source

The RS-7-4 SpectralLED™ is a new digitally programmable, color tunable, calibrated light source from Gamma Scientific (San Diego, CA) that bolts directly on to existing image sensor testers from manufacturers such as Teradyne and National Instruments, and can be readily adapted to test head manipulators and handler instrumentation custom built by end users. The LED-based RS 7 4 offers a longer calibrated, stable lifetime than tungsten sources. Plus, the color temperature and spectral power distribution of the RS-7-4 can be rapidly varied through software control, and the output is extremely linear over its entire output range.

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Coming to a Lab Bench Near You: Femtosecond X-Ray Spectroscopy

Upon light activation (in purple, bottom row’s ball-and-stick diagram), the cyclic structure of the 1,3-cyclohexadiene molecule rapidly unravels into a near-linear shape in just 200 femtoseconds. Using ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy, researchers have captured in real time the accompanying transformation of the molecule’s outer electron “clouds” (in yellow and teal, top row’s sphere diagram) as the structure unfurls. (Credit: Kristina Chang/Berkeley Lab)

The ephemeral electron movements in a transient state of a reaction important in biochemical and optoelectronic processes have been captured and, for the first time, directly characterized using ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Like many rearrangements of molecular structures, the ring-opening reactions in this study occur on timescales of hundreds of femtoseconds (1 femtosecond equals a millionth of a billionth of a second). The researchers were able to collect snapshots of the electronic structure during the reaction by using femtosecond pulses of X-ray light on a tabletop apparatus.

Posted in: News, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Photonics, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Engineers Invent Method to Control Light Propagation in Waveguides

Artistic illustration of a photonic integrated device. In one arm an incident fundamental waveguide mode (with one lobe in the waveguide cross-section) is converted into the second-order mode (with two lobes in the waveguide cross-section). In the other arm the incident fundamental waveguide mode is converted into strong surface waves. (Illustration courtesy of Adam Overvig and Nanfang Yu)

A team of Columbia Engineering researchers, led by Applied Physics Assistant Professor Nanfang Yu, has invented a method to control light propagating in confined pathways, or waveguides, with high efficiency by using nano-antennas. To demonstrate this technique, they built photonic integrated devices that not only had record-small footprints but were also able to maintain optimal performance over an unprecedented broad wavelength range.

Posted in: News, Nanotechnology, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics
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Need Glass? Push Print.

LLNL researchers have reported the synthesis of 3D printed transparent glass components using a "slurry" of silica particles extruded through a direct-ink writing process. From left: LLNL chemical engineer and project lead Rebecca Dylla-Spears and LLNL materials engineer Du Nguyen.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and academic collaborators from the University of Minnesota and Oklahoma State University have demonstrated the synthesis of transparent glass through 3D printing, a development that could ultimately lead to altering the design and structure of lasers and other devices that incorporate optics.

Posted in: News, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics
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Using Sensor Fusion to Analyze Laser Processing in Additive Manufacturing

Sensor: “A device that detects or measures a physical property and records, indicates, or otherwise responds to it.” A sensor is a device that detects a physical quantity and responds by transmitting a signal.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics, Lasers, Sensors and actuators, Additive manufacturing
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Development of Sodium Lidar for Spaceborne Missions

The metal layers at mesospheric altitudes are excellent tracers of neutral atmosphere dynamics, and have been used since the 1960s to study the chemistry and dynamics of the mesosphere. Ablation from meteors is believed to be the chief source of metals such as Na, Mg, K, Fe, and Ca in the middle atmosphere. Due to its relative abundance, large backscatter cross-section, and visible atomic transition, sodium (Na) has been used extensively for lidar studies of the mesosphere.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Lidar, Weather and climate, Metals, Sodium, Test procedures
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