Articles

Trends In Fused Components For Fiber Lasers

High-power fiber lasers have been increasingly used for material processing, metal cutting, and welding applications due to high wall-plug efficiency, compactness, and superb long term reliability[ 1, 2]. Fused fiber components enable reliable, efficient, high-power fiber laser systems operating in continuous wave (high power) or pulsed regimes such as ultrafast (high peak power).

Posted in: Features, Photonics, Articles

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Photonics Design Automation

Taking a Building Block Approach to Optical Chip Design Fuelled by an increasing demand for bandwidth combined with a continued drive towards cost and size reduction, larger scale photonics integrated circuits are now clearly breaking through. For example, fiber optics networks are rapidly embracing 40Gbps and 100Gbps data rates, where the transmitters and receivers often include photonic integrated circuits. And the cost and size reduction in 10Gbps transceivers has driven several companies to successfully leverage photonic chips. The growing FTTH (fiber to the home) market is driving demand for integrated photonic splitters as well as monolithically integrated BiDi transceivers. And there are exciting applications in fiber sensing and bioscience that are now benefiting from optical chips as well.

Posted in: Applications, Photonics, Articles

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Software is the Driving Innovation for Consumer Electronics

You may not realize it, but many of the bells and whistles in the products that you engage with on a daily basis are actually powered by software.

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Alloy-Enhanced Fans Maintain Fresh Air in Tunnels

A lightweight alloy finds uses in cars, ships, planes, and road/rail tunnels. The Partnership for Next Gen eration Vehicles (PNGV) is not a NASA initiative to develop powerful new rockets and spacecraft, even though it may sound like one. PNGV was a partnership established by the Clinton Administration between the federal government and the U.S. Council for Automotive Research to develop technologies that improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions from cars and trucks.

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NASA Awards 2012 Software of the Year

NASA’s first mobile application and software that models the behavior of earthquake faults to improve earthquake forecasting and our understanding of earthquake processes are co-winners of NASA’s 2012 Software of the Year Award. The award recognizes innovative software technologies that significantly improve the agency’s exploration of space and maximize scientific discovery on Earth. A NASA software advisory panel reviews Software of the Year entries and recommends winners to NASA’s Inventions and Contributions Board for confirmation.

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Economic Development Done Right

NASA and MIT pioneer new technologies for lightweight aircraft. Greek mythology tells of the inventor Daedalus using wings of his own fashioning to escape from imprisonment on the island of Crete. In 1988, a similar adventure was launched, though in this case, carbon-fiber composites, gears, and driveshafts were featured instead of wax and feathers.

Posted in: Features, Articles

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Using Multispectral Imaging for Ecological Observations

With an airborne camera capable of making precise and detailed ecological observations, biologists at Applied Ecological Services (Brodhead, WI) are bringing satellite imagery closer to earth.

Posted in: Features, Articles, Imaging

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