Imaging

Inspection Zoom Lens

Edmund Optics®, Barrington, NJ, has released the VZMTM 100i series parafocal zoom lens systems for video cameras. Ideal for inspection systems needing to handle many objects without changing working distance, the VZM 100i features a compact 28mm diameter removable mount with optional zoom lock adapter, and works with camera sensors as large as 2/3-inch.

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Sunlight-Readable TFT Modules

Phoenix Display International (PDI), Tempe, AZ, has introduced a line of sunlight-readable 5.7-inch TFTs with QVGA (320 x 240) resolution. The modules have improved contrast, color saturation, and response time over CSTN products. PDI offers the 5.7" QVGA as a standard transmissive module with or without a touchscreen.

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1.4 Megapixel Area Camera

DALSA Corporation, Waterloo, ON, has released its Falcon 1.4M100, a 1.4 megapixel area camera that delivers 100 frames per second at full resolution in an ultra-compact body measuring 44 mm × 44 mm × 44 mm. Applications include traffic management, metrology, robotics inspection, PCB-AOI and electronics inspection, semiconductor wafer inspection, flat panel display inspection, and general machine vision.

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Ultra-High-Speed Thermography Reveals Hidden Features of Hot, Fast-Moving Objects

Most of us have seen still images or slow-motion video of fast-moving objects, such as a missile in flight or a humming bird flapping its wings. Both scenarios are possible with high-speed visible image cameras using ultra-short exposure times and triggered strobe lighting. Video images of this sort generally require high frame rates to ensure smooth playback.

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Compact Vision for Development and Control of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles

The Mobile & Marine Robotics Research Centre (MMRRC) at the University of Limerick in Ireland created a generic solution for underwater development. During research cruises in February and June of 2005 with the RV Celtic Explorer, MMRRC researchers identified weak points of the overall system integration to address with a virtual underwater lab (VUL). The VUL is a mixed hardware/software tool designed to overcome identified problems; make overall system integration easier; and provide a framework for researchers to develop, implement, and test advanced control algorithms in a combined real-world/simulated environment.

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Visualization Software Helps Assess Thin-Film Semiconductor Systems

As thin-film technology advances, it’s increasingly important to monitor the film’s characteristics. That’s because eliminating irregularities in thin films — used primarily to create computer chips — enhances their performance. k-Space Associates (kSA, Ann Arbor, MI) specializes in accurate, precise monitoring methods that allow physicists and engineers to create high-performance thin-film products and improve their research and development workflow.

Posted in: Imaging, Application Briefs

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ID Readers Accurately Identify and Trace Printed Circuit Boards

New MP3 players from a global electronics manufacturer like Sony are destined for a demanding consumer market and cannot be compromised in any way. In Malaysia, the company sought a code-reading and traceability solution for the printed circuit boards (PCBs) for these MP3 players.

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Mosaic-Detector-Based Fluorescence Spectral Imager

This portable instrument would perform comparably to larger laboratory instruments. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A battery-powered, pen-sized, portable instrument for measuring molecular fluorescence spectra of chemical and biological samples in the field has been proposed. Molecular fluorescence spectroscopy is among the techniques used most frequently in laboratories to analyze compositions of chemical and biological samples. Heretofore, it has been possible to measure fluorescence spectra of molecular species at relative concentrations as low as parts per billion (ppb), with a few nm spectral resolution. The proposed instrument would include a planar array (mosaic) of detectors, onto which a fluorescence spectrum would be spatially mapped. Unlike in the larger laboratory-type molecular fluorescence spectrometers, mapping of wavelengths to spatial positions would be accomplished without use of relatively bulky optical parts. The proposed instrument is expected to be sensitive enough to enable measurement of spectra of chemical species at relative concentrations

Posted in: Photonics, Imaging, Briefs, TSP

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Design and Fabrication of High-Efficiency CMOS/CCD Imagers

Economical production of back-illuminated CMOS/CCD imagers should soon become possible. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California An architecture for back-illuminated complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) and charge-coupled-device (CCD) ultraviolet/visible/near infrared-light image sensors, and a method of fabrication to implement the architecture, are undergoing development. The architecture and method are expected to enable realization of the full potential of back-illuminated CMOS/CCD imagers to perform with high efficiency, high sensitivity, excellent angular response, and in-pixel signal processing. The architecture and method are compatible with next-generation CMOS dielectric-forming and metallization techniques, and the process flow of the method is compatible with process flows typical of the manufacture of very-large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuits.

Posted in: Photonics, Imaging, Briefs, TSP

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Improved Underwater Excitation-Emission Matrix Fluorometer

This is a higher-resolution, smaller, more-capable successor to a prior instrument. Stennis Space Center, Mississippi A compact, high-resolution, two-dimensional excitation-emission matrix fluorometer (EEMF) has been designed and built specifically for use in identifying and measuring the concentrations of organic compounds, including polluting hydrocarbons, in natural underwater settings. Heretofore, most EEMFs have been designed and built for installation in laboratories, where they are used to analyze the contents of samples collected in the field and brought to the laboratories. Because the present EEMF can be operated in the field, it is better suited to measurement of spatially and temporally varying concentrations of substances of interest.

Posted in: Photonics, Imaging, Briefs

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