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


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


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


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


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


Utilizing Machine Vision Engines for Advanced Quality Control and Object Detection

Advanced object and feature recognition eliminates the need for physical probing or fixed sensors.Incorporating machine vision engines into an OEM system with automated handling provides a wide range of benefits to the manufacturer. Machine vision engines are self-contained vision systems that include the optics, lighting, image sensor, electronics, and software to enable standalone “intelligent” decision-making using vision software. Machine vision engines are also much more compact than traditional industrial machine vision systems, which makes them more appropriate for integration into OEM systems with limited space.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Photonics


Single, Stationary Lens Able to Create Microscopic 3D Images

Freeform lens could someday provide a proof of concept for manufacturers of microelectronics and medical devices.A lens that enables microscopic objects to be seen from nine different angles at once to create a 3D image has been developed. Other 3D microscopes use multiple lenses or cameras that move around an object; the new lens is the first single, stationary lens to create microscopic 3D images by itself.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Diagnostics, Photonics