Photonics/Optics

Designing Electro-Optical Sensors Using Collaborative Systems Engineering Technology

About 25% of space-borne electro-optical (EO) sensor programs in both the civil and National Security Space (NSS) communities have experienced reduced on-orbit reliability, as well as cost and schedule overruns of 100% or more1-3. Many of these EO sensor program over-runs can be largely attributed to delays, errors, and inadequate communication that occur at the many handoff points between team members and contractors in the current design process. This leads to the late discovery of technical problems, making them more expensive and time-consuming to fix.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics

Read More >>

Choosing Optics for Medical Lasers

Designers of medical equipment using lasers must be careful in their selection of optical components in order to ensure safe and reliable operation. The high power density and narrow wavelength range of lasers create problems not found in other medical optics such as microscopes and cameras. Proper selection of materials, manufacturing specifications, and coatings becomes essential to avoid such problems.

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

Read More >>

Instruments for Imaging From Far to Near

These instruments could also perform some spectral imaging functions at close range. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The acronym “CHAMP” (signifying “camera, hand lens, and microscope”) denotes any of several proposed optoelectronic instruments that would be capable of color imaging at working distances that could be varied continuously through a range from infinity down to several millimeters. As in any optical instrument, the magnification, depth of field, and spatial resolution would vary with the working distance. For example, in one CHAMP version, at a working distance of 2.5 m, the instrument would function as an electronic camera with a magnification of 1/100, whereas at a working distance of 7 mm, the instrument would function as a microscope/electronic camera with a magnification of 4.4. Moreover, as described below, when operating at or near the shortest-working-distance/ highest-magnification combination, a CHAMP could be made to perform one or more spectral imaging functions.

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

Read More >>

Reflectors Made From Membranes Stretched Between Beams

The beams could be bent to adjust reflector shapes. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Lightweight cylindrical reflectors of a proposed type would be made from reflective membranes stretched between pairs of identically curved and identically oriented end rails. In each such reflector, the curvature of the two beams would define the reflector shape required for the intended application. For example, the beams could be curved to define a reflector of parabolic cross section, so that light incident along the axis of symmetry perpendicular to the cylindrical axis would be focused to a line. In addition, by applying suitable forces to the ends of the beams, one could bend the beams to adjust the reflector surface figure to within a precision of the order of the wavelength of the radiation to be reflected.

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

Read More >>

Computer-Assisted Laser Treatment Using Real-Time Retinal Tracking

This computerized system accurately guides laser shots to diseased retinal areas. Diabetic retinopathy resulting from long-term diabetes mellitus is one of the common diseases that leads to choroidal neovascularization (CNV), a leading cause of blindness. Among the currently available treatment methods, a laser can be used to photocoagulate the diseased areas. Several thousand laser shots are usually required during such treatment. Special care must be taken to avoid hitting the blood vessel tree, the macula, the optic disk, and the region among them. For a single eye, this procedure requires up to several hours that are usually divided over many treatment sessions. Consequently, the development of an accurate laser treatment guidance system to treat the whole retina in one session would improve the effectiveness of such procedures.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics

Read More >>

Disk Lasers in the Photovoltaic Industry

Diverse types of lasers, such as nanosecond, pulsed, and excimer, have been considered for various applications in the photovoltaic industry, including edge isolation, edge deletion, drilling for back contact, cutting of Si-wafer, and patterning of crystalline solar cells. High power lasers, with high stability and high efficiency in addition to high beam quality, are needed now more than ever.

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

Read More >>

Wafer Level Camera Technology

Film cameras were traditionally manufactured by discrete assembly, which means each component was fabricated as an individual item, tested if necessary, and then assembled into the final working product. The advent of solid state imaging did little to change this approach. The film was merely replaced by a light-sensitive electronic component. The only significant change was that the mechanical shutter was rendered obsolete and its action generated electronically within the imager die.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics

Read More >>