Photonics/Optics

Characterizing Richness of Previously Unmapped Terrain and Estimating its Impact on Navigation Performance using 3D Range Sensors in Flight

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Landers to large planetary bodies such as Mars typically use a secondary reconnaissance spacecraft to generate high-fidelity 3D terrain maps that are subsequently used for landing site selection and creating onboard maps for terrain-relative navigation systems. This luxury does not exist with small primitive bodies such as comets and asteroids. For these bodies, the landing spacecraft has to perform the 3D mapping and, with possible help from ground control, choose a feasible landing site. To enable this operation, the spacecraft would need to carry a 3D ranging sensor system such as a LIDAR. With the spacecraft placed in extended mapping orbits, 3D range measurement data is then used to create a shape model of the object. Terrain-based navigation schemes that employ cameras could then be used to image, detect, match, and track features against the map database to provide a 6-degrees-of-freedom (DOF) navigation solution during descent. Camera-based systems, however, are not robust to lighting variations, and do not provide a direct 3D position/range feedback.

Posted in: Briefs, Optics, Photonics

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Using UV LEDs to Cure Fiber Optic Cables

UV spot curing systems have been used in assembly processes for over 30 years. Historically, mercury arc lamps have been the curing source however, LED technology has recently advanced to where it provides a valuable solution for UV curing.

Posted in: White Papers, Optics, Photonics

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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 Download White Paper

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Photonics

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3D Imaging Reveals Battery Degradation in Real Time

Using sophisticated 3D imaging, a team at University College London, The European Synchrotron (ESRF), University of Manchester, Harwell Oxford, Oregon State University, and the National Physical Laboratory visualized a battery’s performance loss and internal structural damage. The images of active commercial Li/MnO2 disposable batteries, captured using X-ray computed tomography, will help to improve cell designs.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Imaging, Photonics

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Filtering in Machine Vision

There are many different types of filters in machine vision that can be utilized to improve or change the image of the object under inspection. It is important to understand the different technologies behind the various types of filters in order to understand their advantages and limitations. Although there is a wide variety of filters, almost all can be divided into two primary categories: colored glass filters and coated filters.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Imaging, Photonics

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Customized Drone Maps Glaciers

Using a custom-designed drone, a researcher from The Ohio State University mapped glaciers and wetlands in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca mountain range. Despite a discovered drop in glacier growth, the findings from the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) revealed a slightly more optimistic picture of the region’s water supply, which relies in part on the ice formations.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, Imaging, Photonics

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Miniature Single-Axis Mirror Positioning System

New Scale Technologies, Inc. (Victor, NY) has announced a new developer’s kit in its M3 micro-mechatronic product line. The DK-M3-RS-U-1M-20 is a complete piezoelectric mirror positioning system with a familiar galvo-scanner form factor, but a drastically smaller size – only 12 mm diameter including the embedded closedloop controller.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Photonics

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