Photonics/Optics

Rad-Tolerant, Thermally Stable, High-Speed Fiber-Optic Network for Harsh Environments

Future NASA destinations will be challenging to get to, have extreme environmental conditions, and may present difficulty in retrieving a spacecraft or its data. Space Photonics is developing a radiationtolerant (rad-tolerant), high-speed, multichannel fiber-optic transceiver, associated reconfigurable intelligent node communications architecture, and supporting hardware for intravehicular and groundbased optical networking applications. Data rates approaching 3.2 Gbps per channel will be achieved.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Physical Sciences, Architecture, Data exchange, Fiber optics, Telecommunications, Radiation

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UV Resonant Raman Spectrometer With Multi-Line Laser Excitation

A Raman spectrometer employs two or more UV (ultraviolet) laser wavelengths to generate UV resonant Raman (UVRR) spectra in organic samples. Resonant Raman scattering results when the laser excitation is near an electronic transition of a molecule, and the enhancement of Raman signals can be several orders of magnitude. In addition, the Raman cross-section is inversely proportional to the fourth power of the wavelength, so the UV Raman emission is increased by another factor of 16, or greater, over visible Raman emissions. The Raman-scattered light is collected using a high-resolution broadband spectrograph. Further suppression of the Rayleigh-scattered laser light is provided by custom UV notch filters.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Lasers, Emissions, Test equipment and instrumentation

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Towed Subsurface Optical Communications Buoy

The innovation allows critical, high-bandwidth submarine communications at speed and depth. This reported innovation is a subsurface optical communications buoy, with active neutral buoyancy and streamlined flow surface veins for depth control. This novel subsurface positioning for the towed communications buoy enables substantial reduction in waterabsorption and increased optical transmission by eliminating the intervening water absorption and dispersion, as well as by reducing or eliminating the beam spread and the pulse spreading that is associated with submarine-launched optical beams.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Telecommunications systems, Marine vehicles and equipment

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High-Collection-Efficiency Fluorescence Detection Cell

A relatively compact and economical unit is used for the detection of formaldehyde. A new fluorescence cell has been developed for the laser induced fluorescence (LIF) detection of formaldehyde. The cell is used to sample a flow of air that contains trace concentrations of formaldehyde. The cell provides a hermetically sealed volume in which a flow of air containing formaldehyde can be illuminated by a laser. The cell includes the optics for transmitting the laser beam that is used to excite the formaldehyde and for collecting the resulting fluorescence. The novelty of the cell is its small size and simple design that provides a more robust and cheaper alternative to the state of the art. Despite its simplicity, the cell provides the same sensitivity to detection as larger, more complicated cells.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Physical Sciences, Lasers, Air pollution, Durability, Test equipment and instrumentation

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Trends In Fused Components For Fiber Lasers

High-power fiber lasers have been increasingly used for material processing, metal cutting, and welding applications due to high wall-plug efficiency, compactness, and superb long term reliability[ 1, 2]. Fused fiber components enable reliable, efficient, high-power fiber laser systems operating in continuous wave (high power) or pulsed regimes such as ultrafast (high peak power).

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics, Fiber optics, Lasers

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Photonics Design Automation

Taking a Building Block Approach to Optical Chip DesignFuelled by an increasing demand for bandwidth combined with a continued drive towards cost and size reduction, larger scale photonics integrated circuits are now clearly breaking through. For example, fiber optics networks are rapidly embracing 40Gbps and 100Gbps data rates, where the transmitters and receivers often include photonic integrated circuits. And the cost and size reduction in 10Gbps transceivers has driven several companies to successfully leverage photonic chips. The growing FTTH (fiber to the home) market is driving demand for integrated photonic splitters as well as monolithically integrated BiDi transceivers. And there are exciting applications in fiber sensing and bioscience that are now benefiting from optical chips as well.

Posted in: Articles, Applications, Photonics, Fiber optics, Integrated circuits, Automation

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3D Imaging Sensor

FSI Technologies (Lombard, IL) has added a new 3D imaging sensor to its machine vision product line. The GS Family of 3D imaging sensors provides support to a whole new range of robot control and inspection applications. The GS 3D sensors, when used in conjunction with the PowerEye machine vision system, can be used in applications such as bin picking, robotic manipulation, sorting products, mold clearance checking, and space monitoring and object recognition. In addition, the 3D technology will aid in determining spatial positions and measurements.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics

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