Photonics/Optics

Autonomous Driving — In a ‘Flash’

By combining CMOS technology with avalanche photodiodes, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS (Duisburg, Germany) have developed a potentially cost-effective sensor prototype that aims to support driverless car applications. The “Flash LiDAR” could play a valuable role alongside the cameras, radars, and other components within autonomous vehicles.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Lidar, Sensors and actuators, Product development, Semiconductors, Autonomous vehicles

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ViDAR Optical Radar Provides New Maritime Search Capability

ViDAR, developed by Sentient Vision Systems in Melbourne Australia, provides autonomous, real-time, wide-area search capability, optically, from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or manned aircraft. ViDAR, which stands for Visual Detection and Ranging, essentially acts as an optical radar, using high-megapixel video or infrared cameras to search the ocean over significantly greater operational coverage areas than can be achieved with current optical sensor approaches.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Optics, Surveillance, Performance upgrades, Product development, Fixed-wing aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles

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Fabricating Optical Mirrors for Use in Outer Space Measurements

There are many ways to manufacture an optic depending on the complexity of the component and the application. From choosing the best substrate, to detailing the numerous operations required to make the optic, all the while considering tight tolerances and other specifications. This article highlights the precision needed to successfully fabricate the mirrors for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment’s (HETDEX’s) Visible Integral Field Replicable Unit Spectrographs (VIRUS) unit which was designed to measure dark energy in outer space.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Optics, Measuring Instruments, Mirrors, Measurements, Fabrication

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Making VR a NASA Reality

NASA researchers want to prove that a virtual reality headset like the Oculus Rift is not just a toy. Josh Kinne, a deputy project manager at NASA Langley Research Center, sees a future role for virtual and augmented reality in the agency’s research and development, CAD design, and data visualization efforts.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Optics, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Simulation Software, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Computer simulation, Virtual reality

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Choosing the Right Adhesive for Display Bonding

When ambient light hits displays, it causes unwanted reflections, which adversely affects readability. This is a nuisance for users; however, it can be prevented with optical adhesives.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Optics, Photonics, Human factors, Displays, Adhesives and sealants

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Machine Vision System Measures ‘Drops’ in Citrus Grove Health

A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher has developed a machine vision system to measure the quantity of a citrus grove’s dropped and decayed oranges. The fallen fruit provides an indication of a so-far incurable disease that has been spreading through Florida’s trees since its first appearance in the state in 2005.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, Imaging, Photonics, Mathematical models, Diseases, Agricultural vehicles and equipment

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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, Cartography, Terrain, Water, Unmanned aerial vehicles

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