Photonics/Optics

Design of High-Brightness, Fiber-Coupled Diode Laser Modules

In the past decade, diode lasers have made great strides in both power and reliability. The performance improvements have enabled new applications, particularly in areas where optical brightness is a key performance metric. The fiber-coupled diode pumping of fiber lasers is a critical technology in commercial, industrial and defense applications. Materials processing, once the singular province of fiber lasers, can now be addressed in some respects by diode laser beams directly delivered by optical fiber.

Posted in: Features, Photonics, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Articles

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SPIE Photonics West 2015 Preview

The SPIE Photonics West 2015 technical conference and exhibition, taking place February 7-12 at The Moscone Center in San Francisco, offers attendees the opportunity to learn about the latest technological developments in lasers, photonics, optics, optoelectronics, biophotonics, biomedical optics, 3D printing and more. Incorporating BiOS, the world’s largest biomedical optics conference, the event will offer its anticipated 20,000 attendees the opportunity to access roughly 4700 technical papers and view the products and services of more than 1250 exhibitors over the course of a week (http://spie.org/photonics-west.xml).

Posted in: Features, Photonics, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Optical Components, Articles

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Fabricating Custom Components from Stock Optics

Two quantities are perennially in short supply on engineering projects: time and money. When it comes to producing custom optical components in less time, for less money, one feasible approach is to modify off-the-shelf components to meet customers’ unique requirements. This tactic is particularly valuable in the prototyping stage or for one-of-a-kind instruments, when a full production run would be unjustifiably expensive and take an unreasonably long time.

Posted in: Applications, Photonics, Optical Components, Articles, Application Briefs

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Active Layer Optimization in Ultra-Thin, Surface-Parallel, Deformable Mirrors

This method enables low-cost, lightweight, active mirrors with a large dynamic range and improved actuation characteristics. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A design methodology was developed that optimizes the performance of active mirrors. Patterns of parameterized ellipsoidal actuators are overlaid onto the mirror, and then numerically optimized to improve performance of the mirror in optical modes that are typically difficult to correct, while also improving performance in other optical modes.

Posted in: Tech Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Articles, Briefs

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Monolithic Dual Telescope for Compact Biaxial Lidar

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland A document discusses the Ultra Compact Cloud Physics Lidar, a biaxial lidar with a narrow receiver field of view. It requires tight optical alignment between the transmitter and receiver paths while flying on various aircraft over various temperatures and in the presence of vibration. To achieve optical crossover as close to the lidar as possible, the transmit and receive telescopes must be built very closely to each other.

Posted in: Tech Briefs, Physical Sciences, Photonics, Articles, Briefs, TSP

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Passive Aerosol Cloud Suite

High-accuracy polarization measurements can be made with high angular density across full images. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The Passive Aerosol Cloud Suite (PACS) is an imaging polarimeter that employs wide field-of-view (FOV) optics to obtain a highly accurate polarimetric signal across an image with hyperangle, multiangle views. PACS is designed to measure the array of parameters necessary to retrieve aerosol and cloud microphysical characteristics. The final goal of PACS is a flight model able to compete for a position on the Aerosol-Cloud-Ecology (ACE) Decadal Survey mission or other space-based platforms, but adaptations of the basic technology to airborne and ground-based applications are anticipated.

Posted in: Tech Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Articles, Briefs, TSP

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Industry Roundtable: Imaging Technology

Few technologies have impacted the scientific community – and non-scientific community for that matter – as much as digital imaging technology. From exotic, high-speed imaging systems to rugged machine vision systems to a vast array of sophisticated consumer devices, digital cameras are everywhere these days, documenting every aspect of this world we live and work in. Photonics Tech Briefs recently spoke with executives from four well-known imaging companies to get their perspectives on where imaging technology is today, and where it is going in the future.

Posted in: Features, Photonics, Articles

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