Features

Crystal Rotation Stage

Cleveland Crystals (Highland Heights, OH) has introduced the CRS150 counter rotation stage that can facilitate simultaneous angle-tuning of two crystals oriented for compensation of birefringent walkoff. The walkoff compensation configuration provides nonlinear optical conversion, reduces distortion, and minimizes beam displacement. Mounted in a compact footprint, the CRS150 provides operation via computer control with phase-matching software for second harmonic generation or optical parametric oscillation with specific crystals, manual micrometer adjustment, or standalone remote control of a motorized micrometer encoded for readout of relative position.

Posted in: Products, Products
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Document Camera

The TT-02 from ELMO USA Corp. (Plainview, NY) is an XGA-output Visual Presenter that enables users to share information, documents, and small 3D objects with audiences. The camera contains a 5.3× optical zoom, 8× digital zoom, and one-touch auto focus. It features an 850,000-pixel scan CCD for reproduction of full-size A3 documents and 3D objects. At a speed of 20 fps, it captures and displays objects in real time. Its arm design allows the camera to be moved up and down to offer point-of-view images. A switch-selectable output provides an RGB digital signal that goes to a DLP or LCD projector. The signal can be output to NTSC to connect a TV or VCR for viewing and recording. The TT-02 also can be used as a switching device to loop through a PC’s output, allowing the user to switch between the shooting area and a PC display such as a PowerPoint® presentation.

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Optical Flats

Optical Surfaces (Surrey, UK) offers standard and custom optical flats measuring up to 600 mm in diameter and manufactured of materials such as glass, Zerodur, and silica. The optical flats can be used for measuring surface flatness of polished areas by determining the variations between work surfaces and the surface of the optical flat. They are suitable for applications in astronomy, laser beam steering, inspecting gauge blocks for wear and accuracy, and interferometric flatness testing of prisms, filters, and optical windows. Surface accuracy of up to lambda/20 p.v. can be achieved, as well as surface roughness of 10 A rms on individual flats. Optics up to 450 mm in diameter are provided with a Fizeau interferometric test report; larger flats are quality assured using the Ritchey-Common test procedure.

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CMOS Camera

Lumenera Corp. (Ottawa, ON, Canada) has introduced the Lw290, a USB 2.0 digital camera based on the company’s 1080P HD sensor. The 16:9 HD format, 2.0-megapixel CMOS sensor provides 20 frames per second at full 1920×1080 resolution. Higher frame rates are available at lower resolution, with full sub-window control and live focusing modes. The camera offers dynamic range of >60dB and blooming for image detail. No framegrabber is required. It provides plug-and-play integration with any DirectShow application.

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Diode Laser Platform

Spectra-Physics, a Division of Newport Corp. (Tucson, AZ), has released a 900- to 980-nm diode laser platform based on epitaxial design. The diode laser platform provides CW power conversion efficiency to 71% for 940-nm single emitters (15°C case temperature). More than 68.5% peak PCE at 25°C may be achieved from 100-μm-wide, 3-mm-long single emitters designed for 8-W output power applications.

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An Operational Guide to Bringing Your Invention to Market

The last of a four-part series on converting your invention into a revenue-generating business, this month’s article describes, from an operational viewpoint, the critical steps that an inventor needs to understand to raise investment money and convert their invention into a viable business.

Posted in: Articles
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30 Years of Power & Energy

In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of NASA Tech Briefs, our features in 2006 highlight a different technology category each month, tracing the past 30 years of the technology, and continuing with a glimpse into the future of where the technology is headed. Along the way, we include insights from industry leaders on the past, present, and future of each technology. This month, we take a look at the past 30 years of Power & Energy Technology.

Posted in: Articles, Energy, Geothermal Power, Hydroelectric Power, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power, Sustainable development, Energy consumption, Hydroelectric power, Solar energy, Wind power, Technical reference, Technical review
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QC Lasers Improve Hazardous Gas Monitoring

The measurement of gases associated with industrial processing/emissions monitoring has become increasingly important as the need to improve efficiencies in process control has increased, and legislation governing emissions has come into force. Gases including NOx, SOx, CO2, CO, NH3, and H2O commonly are used to assess processes such as combustion and quenching, while many fall under emissions legislation resulting from the Kyoto agreement.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Motion Control, Photonics, Lasers, Emissions measurement, Gases
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LUTs: Take Control of Your Imaging Application

It is hard to see how machine-vision camera manufacturers produce decent-quality products at reasonable prices. The multi-megapixel sensors at the heart of current machine-vision cameras are among the largest of VLSI (very-large-scale integration) semiconductor chips, and it is almost impossible to make them with the pixel-to-pixel uniformity required for high-precision imaging applications. Without some way of compensating for manufacturing variations across a given image sensor, many otherwise acceptable chips would have to be discarded. That would drastically reduce manufacturing yields and drive sensor-chip prices far beyond levels acceptable for many applications.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Semiconductors
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Anthony Kelley, Lead Flow Research Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

As petroleum prices spiral higher, new technologies are being developed to help keep prices down. The balanced flow meter, technology originally developed by NASA for the space shuttle, promises to ease pain at the pump by being more precise and consuming less power than current metering devices. Leading the project is NASA engineer Anthony Kelly.

Posted in: Who's Who
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