Photonics/Optics

Fiber-Optic Sensor for Aircraft and Structure Lightning Measurement

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia An optical-fiber sensor based on Faraday Effect was developed for measuring total lightning current. Designed for aircraft installation, it is lightweight, non-conducting, structure conforming, and is immune to electromagnetic interference, hysteresis, and saturation. It can also be used on windmills, lightning towers, and can help validate lightning detection network measurements.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics

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Generating Broadband Terahertz Radiation from Microplasma in Air

Researchers at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics have shown that a laser-generated microplasma in air can be used as a source of broadband terahertz radiation. Fabrizio Buccheri and Xi-Cheng Zhang recently demonstrated that an approach for generating terahertz waves using intense laser pulses in air – first pioneered in 1993 – can be done with much lower power lasers, a major challenge until now.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs

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Enhancing Neutron Imaging with Grazing Incidence Optics

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama A low-cost optical element was developed specifically for neutron optics applications. The technology operates as a reflective lens — similar to proven grazing incidence optics used for x-ray imaging — and improves neutron imaging resolution for applications using low-energy (<1 electron volt) neutrons.

Posted in: Briefs, Optics

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Motion Blur Evaluation Techniques

These techniques model human sensitivity to moving spatial patterns to evaluate and improve display performance. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Motion blur results when a moving edge travels across a display, such as a liquid crystal display (LCD), that has limited temporal response. It is important to be able to quantify this effect in visual terms. The techniques described in this work provide methods for estimating the strength of the motion blur artifact in perceptual units of JNDs (just noticeable differences).

Posted in: Briefs, Optics

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Illuminating Permanently Shadowed Lunar Regions Using a Solar Sail

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Sunlight can be reflected into permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) using S/C solar sails in order to detect and confirm the presence and distribution of water ice cold-trapped in PSRs in lunar polar craters. This reflected light is then viewed with an optical spectrometer.

Posted in: Briefs, Optics

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Fiber Optic Rotary Joints Add a Spin to Sensing, Mobile, and Robotic Fiber Systems

To the passing optical signals, fiberoptic rotary joints (FORJs) are nothing more than fiber connectors, which provide connection between one or multiple fibers. Their unrestricted ability to rotate, however, gives them a critical role in many sensing, mobile, and robotic fiber systems such as ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), aerostat radars, submarines, satellite antennae, OCT (optical coherence tomography), mining vehicles, cranes, wind turbines, robotic vehicles, broadcasting (mobile cameras), etc. This article discusses some of the applications where optical rotary joints are indispensable. www.princetel.com

Posted in: Photonics, White Papers, White Papers, Photonics

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Samarium Oxide Glaze

Developed for high-energy pulsed Q-switching infrared laser applications, a new, high-absorption samarium oxide glaze from Morgan Advanced Materials (Windsor, UK) means it is now able to offer three grades of glaze for laser systems. The samarium glaze absorbs radiation at the Nd-YAG lasing wavelength of 1064nm, and its further transitions near 940nm, 1120nm, 1320nm and 1440nm. A significant amount of fluorescent radiation at the lasing wavelength escapes laterally from the laser rod into the surrounding pumping cavity. Absorbing this radiation prevents it from being reflected back into the laser rod, which would in turn stimulate decay from the upper laser transition level, thereby limiting the number of excited ions which can occupy that level.

Posted in: Products, Photonics

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