System and Method for Generating a Frequency-Modulated Linear Laser Waveform

Applications include manufacturing equipment, robotics, surveillance and security, military imaging, and spectroscopy.NASA’s Langley Research Center has made a breakthrough improvement in laser frequency modulation. Frequency modulation technology has been used for surface mapping and measurement in sonar, radar, and time-of-flight laser technologies for decades. Although adequate, the accuracy of distance measurements made by these technologies can be improved by using a high-frequency triangular-waveform laser instead of a sine waveform or lower-frequency radio or microwaves. This new system generates a triangular modulation waveform with improved linearity that makes possible precision laser radar [light detection and ranging (lidar)] for a variety of applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Photonics, Measurements, Lasers, Lidar, Waveguides


Nasa Processing Technologies Enable Advanced Computing Applications

Embedded processing technologies developed at NASA field centers are enabling the use of next-generation computer-controlled instruments and spacecraft, including SpaceCubes, integrated photonics modems, and new ways to manufacture computer components. SpaceCube ProcessorsNext-generation spacecraft instruments are capable of producing data at rates of 108 to 1011 bits per second, and both their instrument designs and mission operations concepts are severely constrained by data rate and volume. SpaceCube™ enables these next-generation missions.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Photonics, Avionics, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange, Spacecraft


Diamond Meta-Surfaces Enable New Laser Applications

Over the last 15 years, breakthroughs in the manufacture and processing of diamond grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) have established diamond as an excellent substrate material for high-power and high-energy optics. Diamond is a natural choice for these highly demanding applications due to a combination of desirable properties including: extremely broad transmission spectrum, low absorption, chemical inertness, mechanical strength, and the highest room temperature thermal conductivity of any material. These properties allow diamond to perform in environments and applications where other materials are simply not viable options.

Posted in: Articles, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Photonics, Lasers, Ceramics, Conductivity, Durability


Inside NASA’s White Sands Test Facility: How High-Speed Cameras Support Hypervelocity Experiments

At NASA’s White Sands Test Facility, Donald Henderson and his team spend much of their days shooting projectiles at 15,700 miles per hour. Hypervelocity testing done at the Las Cruces, NM center simulates the impact of micrometeoroids and orbital debris on spacecraft shields.

Posted in: Articles, Cameras, Imaging, Photonics, Optics, Impact tests, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test facilities, Spacecraft


Choosing the Right Adhesive for Display Bonding

When ambient light hits displays, it causes unwanted reflections, which adversely affects readability. This is a nuisance for users; however, it can be prevented with optical adhesives.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Optics, Photonics, Human factors, Displays, Adhesives and sealants


Collimated Diode Lasers

Laserglow Technologies (Toronto, Canada) has developed the Cyanea™ Series of Collimated Diode Lasers that are tuned to emit low optical noise, low duty cycle, and clean pulse shapes in the 470 nm spectral range, which coincides with the peak excitation wavelength for Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2).

Posted in: Products, Lasers & Laser Systems


Photon Camera

The Imaging Photon Camera from PHOTONIS (Sturbridge, MA) operates under light-starved conditions. The device features micrometer resolution, picosecond timing, a full 18-mm wide field of view, and a count rate up to 5MHz (with no added read noise). A microchannel plate detector addresses the problem of electron noise. The Imaging Photon Camera connects to any microscopy or imaging device via a standard C-Mount. In Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy applications, the position of individual molecules, fluorescence time and diffusion, or dynamics can be determined at high resolution levels.

Posted in: Products, Cameras, Photonics


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