Features

SPIE Photonics West 2017 Preview

The SPIE Photonics West 2017 technical conference and exhibition returns to The Moscone Center in San Francisco, January 28 through February 2, offering attendees the opportunity to explore the latest innovations in lasers, photonics, optics, optoelectronics, biophotonics, biomedical optics, 3D printing, and more. As in the past, the event will once again kick off with BiOS, the world’s largest biomedical optics conference, before transitioning into the Photonics West conference and exhibition. Last year’s event hosted more than 20,000 attendees and put the products and services of over 1,300 exhibitors on display. More than 4,800 technical papers will be available to conference participants throughout the week (http://spie.org/photonicswest.xml).

Posted in: Articles, Photonics, Lasers, Optics, Career and professional development, Product development, Additive manufacturing

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Fabricating Optical Mirrors for Use in Outer Space Measurements

There are many ways to manufacture an optic depending on the complexity of the component and the application. From choosing the best substrate, to detailing the numerous operations required to make the optic, all the while considering tight tolerances and other specifications. This article highlights the precision needed to successfully fabricate the mirrors for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment’s (HETDEX’s) Visible Integral Field Replicable Unit Spectrographs (VIRUS) unit which was designed to measure dark energy in outer space.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Optics, Measuring Instruments, Mirrors, Measurements, Fabrication

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Making VR a NASA Reality

NASA researchers want to prove that a virtual reality headset like the Oculus Rift is not just a toy. Josh Kinne, a deputy project manager at NASA Langley Research Center, sees a future role for virtual and augmented reality in the agency’s research and development, CAD design, and data visualization efforts.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Optics, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Simulation Software, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Computer simulation, Virtual reality

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Editor's Choice: January 2017

The Convective Heating Improvement for Emergency Fire Shelters (CHIEFS) material can improve the performance of emergency fire shelters for wildland firefighters. The material is based on technology developed for planetary exploration mission heat shields. Fire shelters are the last resort for firefighters trapped by wildfires that block their escape routes. The CHIEFS system can withstand temperatures to 3000 °F. Click here to find out more.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace, Energy Harvesting, Materials

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NASA Tests New Jet Engine Design

NASA is helping the aircraft industry increase fuel efficiency with a new engine design. In its 8 × 6-foot wind tunnel, Glenn Research Center engineers are testing a new fan and inlet design, called a propulsor, that could increase fuel efficiency by four to eight percent more than the advanced engine designs airlines are beginning to use.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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New Stamping Technique Enables Printable Electronics

The carbon nanotube stamp can print electronic inks onto rigid and flexible surfaces. (Sanha Kim and Dhanushkodi Mariappan) The next time you place your coffee order, imagine slapping onto your to-go cup a sticker that acts as an electronic decal, letting you know the precise temperature of your coffee. Engineers at MIT have invented a fast, precise printing process that may make such electronic surfaces an inexpensive reality. The stamp is made from forests of carbon nanotubes and can print electronic inks onto rigid and flexible surfaces. The stamping process should be able to print transistors small enough to control individual pixels in high-resolution displays and touchscreens. It could also offer a relatively cheap, fast way to manufacture electronic surfaces for as-yet-unknown applications.

Posted in: UpFront, Electronics

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Laser-Driven Light Source

Energetiq Technology (Woburn, MA) has introduced its 5th generation, ultra-bright, Laser-Driven Light Source (LDLS™), the EQ-77. The EQ-77 offers higher radiance and irradiance from a truly broadband white light source. The EQ-77 features a compact lamp house, with clean construction that ensures long life and ultimate stability. With a wavelength range from 170nm in the deep ultraviolet to >2µm in the near infrared, and a choice of dual-beam output or a single-beam output with retro-reflector, the EQ-77 is flexible for a broad variety of applications.To learn more, click here

Posted in: Products, Lasers & Laser Systems

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