Photonics/Optics

High-Resolution Infrared Cameras

DRS Technologies, Inc. (Arlington, VA) has expanded its Tamarisk® product line by introducing the high-resolution Tamarisk®640, which is designed for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to incorporate into their products. The Tamarisk®640 camera module generates a sharp thermal image with a resolution of 640 × 480 pixels, advancing the groundbreaking technology of the tiny Tamarisk®320 released in 2011.

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MEMS Emitter

Cal Sensors (Santa Rosa, CA) has introduced a new MEMs Pulsed Emitter (MPE), a broadband source of quasi-black body pulsed light that operates over the 1 to 20 micron infrared (IR) spectrum. Designed with patented, thin-membrane, thermo-resistive material, the MPE combines excellent quality with high signal, fast pulses and long life.

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638nm Fiber-Coupled Tailored Bar Modules

DILAS (Mainz, Germany) now delivers 40W output power from a T-bar based 638nm 400-micron/0.22NA, fiber-coupled module used for cinema projection. Through the optimization of semiconductor chip structures and optical parameters, DILAS’ tailored bar (T-Bar) architecture delivers high beam quality and high power using standard micro-optic fast-axis collimators (FAC) and slow-axis collimators (SAC), all assembled with automated processes. The T-Bar is a monolithic multi-emitter source, allowing the handling of multiple emitters during each manufacturing step, to lower complexity and ease manufacturing. The result is enhanced reproducibility, beam quality and fiber coupling efficiency. Extending the T-Bar based scalable concept, more advanced modules will soon be made available to enable development and commercialization of high power diode laser based RGB projection laser systems.

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Using CT Scanning to Test/Inspect Medical Devices in the Design or Production Phase

CT scanning for test and inspection of medical products continues to grow.

The rapid advance of medical technology has created a growing need for ever more precise technologies to measure and inspect medical components. One of the most accurate scanning technologies, and one whose use is growing in the medical equipment community, is CT scanning.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Inspection Equipment, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Optics, Photonics, Imaging and visualization, Medical equipment and supplies, Inspections, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Partitioned-Interval Quantum Optical Communications Receiver

The receiver structure described here improves upon the performance of optical communications links, achieving high sensitivity and high data rates even with extremely weak optical signals.

The proposed quantum receiver in this innovation partitions each binary signal interval into two unequal segments: a short “pre-measurement” segment in the beginning of the symbol interval used to make an initial guess with better probability than 50/50 guessing, and a much longer segment used to make the highsensitivity signal detection via field-cancellation and photon-counting detection. It was found that by assigning as little as 10% of the total signal energy to the pre-measurement segment, the initial 50/50 guess can be improved to about 70/30, using the best available measurements such as classical coherent or “optimized Kennedy” detection.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Telecommunications
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Cobra Fiber-Optic Positioner Upgrade

This technology could be used for applications requiring precise location of a small object within a small circular area, such as in medical lasers.

A prime focus spectrometer (PFS), along with corrective optics, will mount in place of the secondary mirror of the Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. This will allow simultaneous observations of cosmologic targets. It will enable large-scale galactic archeology and dark energy surveys to help unlock the secrets of the universe.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Fiber optics, Spectroscopy
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Practical UAV Optical Sensor Bench With Minimal Adjustability

A multiple-pass optical platform eliminates essentially all optical alignment degrees of freedom, save one. A fourpass absorption spectrometer architecture is made rigid by firmly mounting dielectric-coated mirror prisms with no alignment capability to the platform. The laser diode beam is collimated by a small, custom-developed lens, which has only a rotational degree of freedom along the standard optical “z” axis. This degree is itself eliminated by adhesive after laser collimation. Only one degree of freedom is preserved by allowing the laser diode chip and mount subassembly to move relative to the collimating lens by using over-sized mounting holes. This allows full 360° motion of a few millimeters relative to the lens, which, due to the high numerical aperture of the lens, provides wide directional steering of the collimated laser beam.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Photonics, Physical Sciences, Lasers, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Optical Thin Films on Complex Substrate Geometries

Anext-generation low pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) optical thin film coating process is permitting the manufacture of interference filter coatings, such as single wavelength, dual band and broadband AR, cold mirror, dichroic, and conductive. The enhanced thin film IsoDyn™ process, designed by Deposition Sciences, Inc. (DSI) is now being used to produce conformal coatings on complex substrate geometries. This capability allows for a myriad of new applications that may require uniform, multilayer coatings on complex shapes, ranging from simple ball lenses to almost any imaginable optical shape.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics, Optics, Chemicals, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Materials properties
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Solar Powered UAVs

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been increasing worldwide as demands for agile, rapid, targeted response forces have grown. UAVs provide surveillance and detection capabilities to these smaller forces that are unmatched by other technologies. As the reliance on UAVs increases, the short endurance times of existing UAV solutions become a significant factor. Existing commercial solutions have endurance ranging from 45 minutes to 4 hours, limiting both operational range and loiter capabilities. To increase endurance, UAV manufacturers have begun to target technologies ranging from increased performance batteries, improved control algorithms, fuel cells and other alternative power sources. While solar powered UAVs have long been a desired goal, existing solar technologies have characteristics that have made solar integration difficult and limited their integration.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, Photonics, Solar energy, Jet engines, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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633nm Red Lasers

The new TopMode laser from TOPTICA Photonics, Inc. (Victor, NY) features proprietary CoHerence-Advanced Regulation Method (CHARM) technology that provides active stabilization of the lasers’ coherence. The TopMode laser provides 30 mW at 633nm (free beam).

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