Integrated Lasers

Spectra-Physics®, a brand of Newport Corporation (Santa Clara, CA), has announced the Excelsior One continuous- wave (CW) lasers series. The new line of ultraviolet (UV), visible, and near-infrared (NIR) CW lasers integrate laser head and controller in one package. Available as free-space and fiber-coupled laser configurations, the plug-and-play Excelsior One series includes eleven different wavelengths and delivers up to 500 mW of average power. The integrated lasers utilize only one supply voltage for all models.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics

Optics iPhone App

An iPhone application from Resolve Optics (Chesham, UK) simplifies lens field of view (FOV) calculations. Available in two versions, the FOV Calc App allows users to determine a required focal length lens. The app can also calculate the field-of-view provided by a lens of a given focal length at a known distance or infinity. FOV Calc Lite, the free version, has 8 commonly used sensor formats pre-installed. The full version of the App, FOV Calc, has the 8 preinstalled formats, but also provides the option of editing, adding, deleting, and saving sensor formats. The app requires knowledge of sensor format and focal length.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics

Fingertip-Sized Microscope to Study the Brain and its Diseases

A tiny portable microscope can be used in the lab or in the field for biological research and potentially for medical screening of diseases.

A readily portable miniature microscope weighing less than 2 grams and tiny enough to balance on your fingertip has been developed. The scope is designed to see fluorescent markers, such as dyes, commonly used by medical and biological researchers studying the brains of mice.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Diagnostics, Imaging, Inspection Equipment, Medical, Optics, Photonics, Microscopy, Diseases, Nervous system

Non-Invasive Instrument for Skin Cancer Screening

Andor Newton camera powers combined RS-OCT probe capable of both morphological and biochemical characterization of skin cancers.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in humans, with annual rates continuing to climb from their current estimate of just over three million new cases each year. Although all skin cancers share the likelihood of a favorable outcome if early diagnosis and complete resection are achieved, diagnosis is invasive, subjective, lengthy, and expensive, as it involves expert visual inspection, biopsy, and histopathology.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Cameras, Imaging, Machine Vision, Visualization Software, Bio-Medical, Diagnostics, Imaging, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Optics, Photonics, Diagnosis, Diseases, Medical equipment and supplies, Physical examination

Glass Solder Approach for Robust, Low-Loss, Fiber-to- Waveguide Coupling

The key advantages of this approach include the fact that the index of interface glass (such as Pb glass n = 1.66) greatly reduces Fresnel losses at the fiber-to-waveguide interface, resulting in lower optical losses. A contiguous structure cannot be misaligned and readily lends itself for use on aircraft or space operation. The epoxy-free, fiber-to-waveguide interface provides an optically pure, sealed interface for low-loss, highpower coupling. Proof of concept of this approach has included successful attachment of the low-melting-temperature glass to the x–y plane of the crystal, successful attachment of the low-meltingtemperature glass to the end face of a standard SMF (single-mode fiber), and successful attachment of a wetted lowmelting- temperature glass SMF to the end face of a KTP crystal.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Waveguides, Fastening, Glass

General MACOS Interface for Modeling and Analysis for Controlled Optical Systems

The General MACOS Interface (GMI) for Modeling and Analysis for Controlled Optical Systems (MACOS) enables the use of MATLAB as a front-end for JPL’s critical optical modeling package, MACOS. MACOS is JPL’s in-house optical modeling software, which has proven to be a superb tool for advanced systems engineering of optical systems. GMI, coupled with MACOS, allows for seamless interfacing with modeling tools from other disciplines to make possible integration of dynamics, structures, and thermal models with the addition of control systems for deformable optics and other actuated optics.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Analysis methodologies, Simulation and modeling, Computer software and hardware, Optics

ASIC Readout Circuit Architecture for Large Geiger Photodiode Arrays

Commercial applications include 3D imaging, positron emission tomography (PET), laser ranging (LADAR), night vision, and surveillance.

The objective of this work was to develop a new class of readout integrated circuit (ROIC) arrays to be operated with Geiger avalanche photodiode (GPD) arrays, by integrating multiple functions at the pixel level (smart-pixel or active pixel technology) in 250-nm CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) processes. In order to pack a maximum of functions within a minimum pixel size, the ROIC array is a full, custom application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design using a mixed-signal CMOS process with compact primitive layout cells.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Photonics, Architecture, Integrated circuits, Optics

Digital Imaging Systems for Ballistics Testing

Traditionally, the recording of ordnance proofing data has been split into two main areas: instrumentation and high speed photography. Instrumentation was more focused on the collection of analytical data from various instruments, e.g. Doppler radar, yaw screens (for pitch and yaw), and velocity traps (i.e. skyscreens or acoustic triggers), whereas high speed photography was more concerned with obtaining high quality images for later qualitative analysis. The photographic images were obtained using an assortment of high speed film cameras, often requiring a specialist photographic team to survey in, set up and align the camera, illuminate the subject, synchronise the camera to the firing system, process the film records and produce the final images for later manual analysis.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics, Optics, Test equipment and instrumentation

Photovoltaic Tracking Control Systems

Tracking systems are included in more than one-third of new photovoltaic developments in Europe, but less than 10% in the US. If properly controlled, they can capture more energy from each panel than fixed racks – up to 40% more in most parts of North America – so selecting the best hardware and the right control algorithm is critical to realizing optimum energy production and reliability.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, Photonics, Optics, Hardware

Blue Tunable Laser

New Focus™ (Santa Clara, CA) a Newport Corporation Brand, has introduced the Vortex™ Plus Blue TLB-6802 precision series, single-mode, finely-tunable laser. This is the world’s first precision tunable blue laser that operates at 461nm, the critical wavelength for next-generation atomic clocks that are currently being built by National Labs and other top research labs worldwide. The blue Vortex Plus replaces complex resonant second-harmonic generation, or SHG systems.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics

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