Articles

Active Layer Optimization in Ultra-Thin, Surface-Parallel, Deformable Mirrors

This method enables low-cost, lightweight, active mirrors with a large dynamic range and improved actuation characteristics. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A design methodology was developed that optimizes the performance of active mirrors. Patterns of parameterized ellipsoidal actuators are overlaid onto the mirror, and then numerically optimized to improve performance of the mirror in optical modes that are typically difficult to correct, while also improving performance in other optical modes.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, Tech Briefs, Optics, Photonics

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Monolithic Dual Telescope for Compact Biaxial Lidar

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland A document discusses the Ultra Compact Cloud Physics Lidar, a biaxial lidar with a narrow receiver field of view. It requires tight optical alignment between the transmitter and receiver paths while flying on various aircraft over various temperatures and in the presence of vibration. To achieve optical crossover as close to the lidar as possible, the transmit and receive telescopes must be built very closely to each other.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, TSP, Tech Briefs, Photonics

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Passive Aerosol Cloud Suite

High-accuracy polarization measurements can be made with high angular density across full images. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The Passive Aerosol Cloud Suite (PACS) is an imaging polarimeter that employs wide field-of-view (FOV) optics to obtain a highly accurate polarimetric signal across an image with hyperangle, multiangle views. PACS is designed to measure the array of parameters necessary to retrieve aerosol and cloud microphysical characteristics. The final goal of PACS is a flight model able to compete for a position on the Aerosol-Cloud-Ecology (ACE) Decadal Survey mission or other space-based platforms, but adaptations of the basic technology to airborne and ground-based applications are anticipated.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, TSP, Tech Briefs, Optics, Photonics

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Thermal Imaging’s Pocket-Sized Potential

Let’s say you’re a prospective buyer touring an older home that you suspect has some weatherization issues. What if you could verify your hunch by literally seeing cold air seeping under doors or cooling walls where insulation is missing? And what if you could do this on the spot using a smartphone?

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Camera Considerations When Inspecting Printed Circuit Boards

PCB manufacturing is a very competitive market, and manufacturers must be able to confidently ship accurate printed circuit board (PCB) products. Delivery of incorrect boards may have a significant, negative impact on the company reputation, which can directly result in lost business. Inspection of the boards before shipment is required.

Posted in: Articles, Cameras

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Top Prizes Awarded in the Create the Future Design Contest

On November 7, the top prizes in the 2014 Create the Future Design Contest were presented in New York City. Winners in seven categories, as well as the Grand Prize winner, received awards for their innovations in the annual contest.

Posted in: Articles, Machinery & Automation, Robotics

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Industry Roundtable: Analysis & Simulation Software

In our annual poll of executives at leading analysis and simulation software vendors, we found that both 3D printing and the cloud will have increasing impact on CAE in 2015, and users will demand additional multi-physics capabilities to simulate larger, more complex models.

Posted in: Articles, Simulation Software

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