Creep Measurement Video Extensometer

This automated system measures test-sample creep rates for materials testing.Understanding material behavior under load is critical to the efficient and accurate design of advanced aircraft and spacecraft. Technologies such as the one disclosed here allow accurate creep measurements to be taken automatically, reducing error.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Physical Sciences


General Tool for Evaluating High-Contrast Coronagraphic Telescope Performance Error Budgets

The Coronagraph Performance Error Budget (CPEB) tool automates many of the key steps required to evaluate the scattered starlight contrast in the dark hole of a space-based coronagraph. The tool uses a Code V prescription of the optical train, and uses MATLAB programs to call ray-trace code that generates linear beam-walk and aberration sensitivity matrices for motions of the optical elements and line-of-sight pointing, with and without controlled fine-steering mirrors (FSMs). The sensitivity matrices are imported by macros into Excel 2007, where the error budget is evaluated. The user specifies the particular optics of interest, and chooses the quality of each optic from a predefined set of PSDs. The spreadsheet creates a nominal set of thermal and jitter motions, and combines that with the sensitivity matrices to generate an error budget for the system.

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


Microwave Tissue Soldering for Immediate Wound Closure

Wounds can be closed rapidly, without staples, sutures, or tapes.A novel approach for the immediate sealing of traumatic wounds is under development. A portable microwave generator and handheld antenna are used to seal wounds, binding the edges of the wound together using a biodegradable protein sealant or “solder.” This method could be used for repairing wounds in emergency settings, by restoring the wound surface to its original strength within minutes. This technique could also be utilized for surgical purposes involving solid visceral organs (i.e., liver, spleen, and kidney) that currently do not respond well to ordinary surgical procedures.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Medical, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics


Fiber Optic Technology: Shining New Light On An Old Concept

While it may appear state-of-the-art on the surface, fiber optic technology is a fairly simple method of conducting light that has been around for some time. The principle of guiding light by refraction was first demonstrated in the mid 19th century, and has been developing for use in practical applications ever since.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics


Method for Implementing Optical Phase Adjustment

A method has been developed to mechanically implement the optical phase shift by adjusting the polarization of the pump and probe beams in an NMOR (nonlinear magneto-optical rotation) magnetometer as the proper phase shift is necessary to induce self-oscillation. This innovation consists of mounting the pump beam on a ring that surrounds the atomic vapor sample. The propagation of the probe beam is perpendicular to that of the pump beam. The probe beam can be considered as defining the axis of a cylinder, while the pump beam is directed radially. The magnetic field to be measured defines a third vector, but it is also taken to lie along the cylinder axis. Both the pump and probe beams are polarized such that their electric field vectors are substantially perpendicular to the magnet field. By rotation of the ring supporting the pump beam, its direction can be varied relative to the plane defined by the probe electric field and the magnetic field to be measured.

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


Using Fan-poled Crystals to Tune Ti:S Lasers

Titanium:Sapphire (Ti:S)-based laser systems have revolutionized ultrafast research from biological imaging to high energy physics. Ti:S has a very broad gain bandwidth (680-1080 nm) but many applications require even broader tuning ranges covering UV, visible, and longer IR wavelengths. Frequency doubling, tripling, and quadrupling extend access to the 190-540 nm range. Ultrafast optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) pumped by Ti:S lasers reach beyond 1080 nm and fill in the “Ti:S gap” (540 to 680 nm).

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics


Using Optical Encoders to Improve Camera Phone Zoom Lens Accuracy

A wide range of commercial applications use cameras with a zooming mechanism. Perhaps the most ubiquitous is the camera phone. Camera phones may have an optical zoom, a digital zoom, or both. What’s the difference? An optical zoom actually changes the effective focal length of the camera lens such that the original image is magnified and could be captured by the image sensor (CCD or CMOS). With greater magnification, the light is spread across the entire image sensor and all of the pixels can be used. An optical zoom could be interpreted as a true zoom that will improve the quality of pictures captured.

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


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