Features

Glass Molding Makes High-Quality Aspheres Cost Effective

High-resolution digital imaging, low-light-level biomedical devices, and automotive sensing are just a few of today’s hot technologies demanding both low-cost and high-performance optical systems. Critical in this effort is the mid- and high-volume requirement for aspheric optical components. Unfortunately, CNC polishing methods are expensive and take too long to produce each component, which has pushed precision glass molding to the front of asphere manufacturing technologies.

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New Metals, Optics, Tools, and Processes Focus on Satellite Imaging

Lightweight, aspheric, reflective optical designs commonly are designed and built for demanding space-based remote sensing, targeting systems, and aerial reconnaissance. Traditional designs utilizing low expansion optical glasses steadily are giving way to metals such as aluminum, beryllium, and AlBeMet, and ceramics such as silicon carbide. These materials can be produced in extremely lightweight, yet robust and athermalized, designs by virtue of their superior tensile strength, fracture toughness, and the ability to compose support structures and mirrors from identical materials.

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Product of the Month: CCD Color Camera

Toshiba Imaging Systems Division (Irvine, CA) offers the IK-TF9C three-chip, color CCD camera with a 2048 × 1536 pixel output resolution. It offers a full frame rate of 20 fps and a partial scan rate of 40 fps. The camera’s proprietary scan technology eliminates image-jitter for high-speed industrial machine vision applications.

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Fiber Laser Control Kit

Nutfield Technology (Windham, NH) offers a fiber laser and scan-head control kit that contains software, electronic control, X/Y scanning, scan lens, power, and cables. Included in the kit is the PipeLine laser/scanner control rack with WaveRunner laser/scanner control software, a SurfBoard USB control card with power supply, and an IPG Laser control/protection board. PipeLine is mounted in a 1U 19" rack with breakout connections. The kit also includes an XLR8 2-axis packaged scan head that features a fiber laser collimator mounting bracket with an optional electromechanical safety shutter. Applications include marking, engraving, and cutting.

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Xenon Flash Lamp

The SIL 500 Joule multi-headed Xenon flash lamp from Specialised Imaging Ltd. (Tring, Herts., UK) is for use with ultra-fast cameras that have short recording times. When using high-speed cameras to fast record transient phenomena, very short exposure times are necessary to arrest image motion — typically a few nanoseconds. The flash lamps create high-intensity illumination for short periods of time (2 mSec) that can be controlled and synchronized to match the time frame of an event being recorded by an ultra-high-speed camera.

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Digital Transform Spectrometer

Polychromix (Wilmington, MA) offers the Phazir handheld near-infrared Digital Transform Spectrometer (DTS)™ analyzer, an all-in-one unit for data analyzing that allows users to perform chemical analysis in the field. The Phazir combines a Digital Transform Spectrometer engine, a MobiLight lightsouce, a reflectance probe, rechargeable batteries, integrated computer, an LCD display, and software. The DTS product family is powered by the company’s telecommunication MEMS (microelectromechanical system) technology that features a MEMS spatial light modulator in a portable form factor with a single InGaAs detector and no moving parts. The devices feature low power consumption and use a standard USB connection for communications and power interfaces.

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UV Laser Systems

J. P. Sercel Associates (JPSA, Hollis, NH) has released the IX-200 series laser systems, available in DPSS solid-state and excimer UV laser configurations. The IX-200 ChromaDice™ DPSS version is a wafer dicing system suitable for wafer trimming and scribing applications. The process is tolerant of wafer warp and bow, and is suitable for all wafer types. The IX-200 excimer laser version is suitable for via drilling, micromachining, thin film patterning, and semiconductor packaging applications including LED liftoff.

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