Features

Designing Converged Optical Ethernet Networks

Transport networks have witnessed two significant trends over the past half-decade or so. The first has been an explosion in the bandwidth these networks can support and the distances over which they can support it. This is due to the advent of cost-effective wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and dense-WDM (DWDM), as well as a slew of technologies that extend transmission range, such as sophisticated optical amplifiers. The second has been the need to support a variety of traffic types (voice, video, data) and services: virtual private networks (VPNs), high-speed Internet (HSI), video-on-demand (VoD) and videoconferencing, and IPTV, to name a few. This is due to the need to simplify the network by collapsing intermediate layers and protocol stacks, thus reducing interface and node counts (and, hence, cost) in the carrier network. Thus, transport networks have migrated from being primarily voice-dominated to multi-service supporting infrastructures.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics

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Product of the Month: Biochemical Sensing Unit

Stratophase (Romsey, UK) introduces the Spectrosens sensing unit for biochemial detection of toxins, viruses, and bacteria in real-time. Based on an optical silicon micro-chip with an integral Bragg grating, Spectrosens uses a fiber optic cable to transmit a conditioned beam of light to the chip. When target agents or contaminants are carried in liquid across the surface, tiny changes in sample composition can be detected by precise and continuous monitoring of the wavelength of light reflected from the sensor. Pre-treating the surface to make it sensitive to certain biological or chemical reactions makes it a biochemical detector. The technology is ideal for food, beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries, as well as drug discovery and process control.

Posted in: Products, Products

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Machine Vision Software

EyeSpector Version 1.5 software from Vision Components GmbH (Ettlingen, Germany) is suitable for a variety of gauging, inspection, orientation, color inspection, and recognition tasks. The Eye-Spector works with VC4xxx Series real-time and network ready Smart Camera series. The software now offers support for Robot Vision, making 2d/3d calibration and communication with robots easy. The software provides for brightness compensation, pattern matching, color measurements, and position compensation.

Posted in: Products, Products

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Laser Diode Modules

Photonic Products (Hertfordshire, UK) introduces the PM-NEOLD 635nm photon laser diode modules with an integral “Near End of Life Detection” feature that alerts users when a laser diode approaches the end of its operational life. The laser modules have optical output powers from 0.9 mW to 18 mW at a lasing wavelength of 635 nm, beam size of 3.5×1.5mm, operating voltage of 3-6 VDC, and operating temperature from -10°C to +50°C.

Posted in: Products, Products

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This Month in NASA History

The launch of Sputnik brought a sense of urgency to American efforts underway to launch a man-made object as part of the U.S. Navy’s Vanguard project. Following Sputnik, Wernher von Braun and his Army Redstone Arsenal team began work on the Explorer project.

Posted in: UpFront

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CAD Tools: Usability versus Capabilities

CAD software has come a long way in terms of ease of use, interoperability, speed, and capabilities. But there is still a long way to go. We spoke to executives at leading CAD software companies to find out what’s most important to their users, and what the next revolution in CAD software will be.

Posted in: Articles

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Electrostatic Detection System Prevents Injuries and Damage During Spacecraft Assembly

Remote Voltage Sensor Quasar Federal Systems San Diego, CA 858-228-3386 www.quasarusa.com Electrostatic charges impact the safety of both workers and spacecraft, and have been recognized as one of the main problems at the NASA spacecraft assembly facilities. Prevention currently depends on time-consuming, handheld electric-field devices scanning each individual worker’s clothing. Quasar Federal Systems has developed a new electrostatic detection system with support from NASA and the University of California Berkeley’s Space Science Laboratory.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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