Photonics/Optics

Control Program and Optical Improvements of Fresnel Microspectrometer

This innovation is suitable for optical fiber communications and medical applications where multiple optical fibers are used.A microspectrometer has a circular geometry, and is designed with the Fresnel diffraction equation. This enables a dramatic miniaturization of the optical parts of a spectrometer over 100 times by volume. Therefore, it enables the construction of spectrometer arrays such as 100×100 microspectrometers for tunable multispectral or hyper-spectral imaging. It can be used for a massive, simultaneous spectral scan from multiple optical sources such as 10,000 optical fibers.

Posted in: Photonics, Briefs, TSP, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics

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Improving Microinverter Performance in Photovoltaic Systems

We have known for decades that the sun radiates enough energy to meet the world’s needs for power, both now and in the future. As in any energy conversion from original source to a “usable” form, however, the various stages of adaptation introduce efficiency losses. In the case of the photovoltaic system, this has limited what could be exponential growth. In fact, the best performance available from solar cells of any kind (excluding the concentrated approach) never rose above 15% efficiency. In cascade to the solar cell itself, a classical centralized inverter would add barely more than 90% efficiency to the chain. This “poor” performance and the obvious lack of large successes has also helped to keep the installation costs very high.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics

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Understanding Infrared Detector & Emitter Technology

Generally speaking, sensor manufacturers are driven to improve performance (i.e. offering greater sensitivity, smaller packages, more features) and lower costs. The prioritization of these sometimes conflicting demands varies with each target sensor application. For detector manufacturers, this translates into an assortment of requirements including high sensitivity, expanded range of operation, more integrated products, and low cost solutions. Final detector selection will depend on which attributes are most important for the target application.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics

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Applying HDTV Imaging Technology To Industrial Applications

New high definition (HD) television cameras are being integrated into industrial environments to assist in the inspection of a variety of manufactured products. HDTV technology is reaching areas of application far outside the broadcast or entertainment markets, in part because of the capability of perfectly matching the cameras’ HD resolution, pixel to pixel, to high definition LCD and LED monitors, making these systems ideal for real-time, live viewing inspection.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics

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Pulsed Laser System to Simulate Effects of Cosmic Rays in Semiconductor Devices

The system can measure the radiation sensitivity of microelectronic devices with high spatial and temporal resolution.Spaceflight system electronic devices must survive a wide range of radiation environments with various particle types including energetic protons, electrons, gamma rays, x-rays, and heavy ions. High-energy charged particles such as heavy ions can pass straight through a semiconductor material and interact with a charge-sensitive region, generating a significant amount of charge (electron-hole pairs) along their tracks. These excess charges can damage the device, and the response can range from temporary perturbations to permanent changes in the state or performance. These phenomena are called single event effects (SEE).

Posted in: Photonics, Briefs, TSP, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics

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Test Port for Fiber-Optic-Coupled Laser Altimeter

Test port simplifies verification of focal setting and boresight alignment.A test port designed as part of a fiber-optic-coupled laser altimeter receiver optical system allows for the back-illumination of the optical system for alignment verification, as well as illumination of the detector(s) for testing the receiver electronics and signal-processing algorithms. Measuring the optical alignment of a laser altimeter instrument is difficult after the instrument is fully assembled. The addition of a test port in the receiver aft-optics allows for the back-illumination of the receiver system such that its focal setting and boresight alignment can be easily verified. For a multiple-detector receiver system, the addition of the aft-optics test port offers the added advantage of being able to simultaneously test all the detectors with different signals that simulate the expected operational conditions.

Posted in: Photonics, Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics

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Phase Retrieval System for Assessing Diamond Turning and Optical Surface Defects

An optical design is presented for a measurement system used to assess the impact of surface errors originating from diamond turning artifacts. Diamond turning artifacts are common by-products of optical surface shaping using the diamond turning process (a diamond-tipped cutting tool used in a lathe configuration).

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics

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