Photonics

Metrology Camera System Using Two-Color Interferometry

3D locations of multiple targets are determined without mechanical scanning. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A metrology system that contains no moving parts simultaneously measures the bearings and ranges of multiple reflective targets in its vicinity, enabling determination of the three-dimensional (3D) positions of the targets with submillimeter accuracy. The system combines a direction-measuring metrology camera and an interferometric range-finding subsystem. Because the system is based partly on a prior instrument denoted the Modulation Sideband Technology for Absolute Ranging (MSTAR) sensor and because of its 3D capability, the system is denoted the MSTAR3D. Developed for use in measuring the shape (for the purpose of compensating for distortion) of large structures like radar antennas, it can also be used to measure positions of multiple targets in the course of conventional terrestrial surveying.

Posted in: Photonics, Imaging, Briefs, TSP

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Image Sensors Decades Old But Not Yet Mature

There’s no rule that says when a technology becomes mature, but one might think that image sensors would be by now, 40 years after their conception. Nothing could be further from the truth. After decades of use in fax machines, scanners, and camcorders, image sensors are now in the largest growth period in their history, and much of the innovation is still happening.

Posted in: Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Articles

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DisplayPort Technology — Heir Apparent to VGA?

For the last 20 years we have connected our monitors to our computer systems having the confidence that upon turn-on, we could surf or create with never a consideration of whether the display would operate satisfactorily. VGA (Video Graphics Adaptor) technology enabled us to do that with CRTs as well as with flat panel displays. Now, however, the viewing benchmarks are being reset, as are system design considerations. There’s a new interface on the horizon called DisplayPort!

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

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Optoelectronic System Measures Distances to Multiple Targets

This system operates at an update rate >10 Hz. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California An optoelectronic metrology apparatus now at the laboratory-prototype stage of development is intended to repeatedly determine distances of as much as several hundred meters, at submillimeter accuracy, to multiple targets in rapid succession. The underlying concept of optoelectronic apparatuses that can measure distances to targets is not new; such apparatuses are commonly used in general surveying and machining. However, until now such apparatuses have been, variously, constrained to (1) a single target or (2) multiple targets with a low update rate and a requirement for some a priori knowledge of target geometry. When fully developed, the present apparatus would enable measurement of distances to more than 50 targets at an update rate >10 Hz, without a requirement for a priori knowledge of target geometry.

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

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Large Solar-Rejection Filter

This lightweight filter comprises a multilayer spectral coating on a flexible membrane. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California An optical filter consisting of a multilayer spectral coating on a flexible membrane has been designed to be placed in front of the 200-in. (5.08-m) Hale telescope on Mt. Palomar. The filter is intended to protect the telescope against solar radiant flux and limit solar heating of the interior of the telescope dome while transmitting light at the 1,064-nm wavelength of the Mars Laser Communication Demonstration.

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

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Large Solar-Rejection Filter

This lightweight filter comprises a multilayer spectral coating on a flexible membrane. An optical filter consisting of a multilayer spectral coating on a flexible membrane has been designed to be placed in front of the 200-in. (5.08-m) Hale telescope on Mt. Palomar. The filter is intended to protect the telescope against solar radiant flux and limit solar heating of the interior of the telescope dome while transmitting light at the 1,064-nm wavelength of the Mars Laser Communication Demonstration.

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

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LED-Equipped Spectrophotometers Find Their Way to the Factory Floor

Companies that manufacture products ultimately used by consumers — interior trim for cars, vinyl siding for homes, decorative stone for landscaping, interior wall paints, etc. — are often discovering that they need to use precise spectrophotometers to ensure first-time color quality and lotto-lot consistency.

Posted in: Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Articles

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