Photonics/Optics

Clearer Images on Near Infrared Camera Made Possible with Filters

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is scheduled for launch in 2013 and aims to unravel the history of earlier galaxies, linking the Big Bang to the Milky Way Galaxy. JWST’s Near InfraRed Camera (NIRCam) is a filter-based instrument covering the spectral range of 0.6 to 5.0 microns. The Principle Investigator for NIRCam is Dr. Marcia Reike of the University of Arizona, while the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) of Lockheed Martin is responsible for its manufacture, integration, and testing. Barr Associates recently was selected to design, manufacture, and test 30 filters for the JWST NIRCam. Barr previously provided spaceflight filters for Lockheed Martin ATC, including those for the Solar-B and shuttle glow experiments.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Optical Components, Optics, Design processes, Optics, Performance upgrades, Research and development, Suppliers
Read More >>

Deformable Mirror to Help NASA Search for New Planets

Boston Micromachines, a provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror products for adaptive optics systems, is developing a deformable mirror that will aid NASA in the search for extra-solar planets. The mirror comprises a micromirror array consisting of 331 closely packed ultra-flat hexagonal mirror elements. Each element is capable of tip, tilt, and piston motion with nanometer precision as required for a space-based, hyper-contrast coronagraph imaging telescope.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Optical Components, Optics, Mirrors, Optics
Read More >>

Instrumented Spindle Improves Manufacturing of Optical Materials

Sensors and data acquisition system provide real-time visibility of grinding system operation.

High-performance materials such as ceramics, optics, and alloy steels are manufactured using abrasive grinding technology. Until now, the grinding wheel and process conditions have been difficult to measure in production.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Manufacturing processes, Ceramics, Steel
Read More >>

Flexible Laser Design Targets Low-Volume Material Processing Needs

A flexible approach to diode-pumped laser design combines customized performance with costeffective manufacturing.

Q-switched, diode-pumped solid-state lasers with an end-pumped cavity design are now widely used in micromachining, materials processing, marking, and related applications. They are used to process a broad range of materials including metals, glass, plastics, and semiconductors. But this application diversity creates a concomitant need for laser diversity. Namely, while each application requires superior reliability and performance, the definition of “superior performance” is very application-specific. For example, some metal ablation applications may benefit from a long laser pulse, whereas semiconductor scribing needs a short pulse and a very high pulse repetition rate.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Lasers
Read More >>

Aligning Optical Fibers by Means of Actuated MEMS Wedges

Wedges would be fabricated using gray-scale exposure of photoresist.

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) of a proposed type would be designed and fabricated to effect lateral and vertical alignment of optical fibers with respect to optical, electro-optical, optoelectronic, and/or photonic devices on integrated circuit chips and similar monolithic device structures. A MEMS device of this type would consist of a pair of oppositely sloped alignment wedges attached to linear actuators that would translate the wedges in the plane of a substrate, causing an optical fiber in contact with the sloping wedge surfaces to undergo various displacements parallel and perpendicular to the plane. In making it possible to accurately align optical fibers individually during the packaging stages of fabrication of the affected devices, this MEMS device would also make it possible to relax tolerances in other stages of fabrication, thereby potentially reducing costs and increasing yields.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Fiber optics, Integrated circuits, Microelectromechanical devices, Fabrication
Read More >>

Optical Characterization of Molecular Contaminant Films

A theoretical model is correlated with measured spectral transmittances and VUV exposures of spacecraft optics.

A semi-empirical method of optical characterization of thin contaminant films on surfaces of optical components has been conceived. The method was originally intended for application to films that become photochemically deposited on such optical components as science windows, lenses, prisms, thinfilm radiators, and glass solar-cell covers aboard spacecraft and satellites in orbit. The method should also be applicable, with suitable modifications, to thin optical films (whether deposited deliberately or formed as contaminants) on optical components used on Earth in the computer microchip laser communications and thin-film industries.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Coatings, colorants, and finishes
Read More >>

Digital Servos, Software Chart New Directions in Optical Scanning

Optical scanners, or servo-controlled, limited-rotation motors with laser-beam steering mirrors, were first introduced 40 years ago by General Scanning. Since then, they have become the enabling technology behind many innovative products across many different industries, including medical imaging, industrial machining, product identification, biomedical research, automotive manufacturing, and many more.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Lasers, Optics, Medical equipment and supplies, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Electric motors, Industrial vehicles and equipment
Read More >>

Design Software Bridges Optical/Mechanical Gap for Life Sciences

The inherently interdisciplinary nature of developing instrumentation for life sciences requires a high level of collaboration between scientists and engineers across the fields of analytical or clinical chemistry, optics, mechanics, material science, and microbiology. Moreover, product development teams are competing for first-tomarket benefits that are driven by intellectual property lifetimes and insuring an installed base quickly to realize recurring consumable sales. Concurrently, product designers need to comply with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). System-level modeling enables adherence to the methodical design process without the cost and time associated with iterative hardware prototyping and laboratory and clinical testing.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Medical, health, and wellness, Collaboration and partnering, Product development, Quality standards
Read More >>

Instrumented Spindle Improves Manufacturing of Optical Materials

Sensors and data acquisition system provide real-time visibility of grinding system operation.

Lion Precision and Professional Instruments, St. Paul, Minnesota

High-performance materials such as ceramics, optics, and alloy steels are manufactured using abrasive grinding technology. Until now, the grinding wheel and process conditions have been difficult to measure in production.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Turning
Read More >>

Flexible Laser Design Targets Low-Volume Material Processing Needs

A flexible approach to diode-pumped laser design combines customized performance with cost-effective manufacturing.

Coherent, Inc., Santa Clara, California

Q-switched, diode-pumped solid-state lasers with an end-pumped cavity design are now widely used in micromachining, materials processing, marking, and related applications. They are used to process a broad range of materials including metals, glass, plastics, and semiconductors. But this application diversity creates a concomitant need for laser diversity. Namely, while each application requires superior reliability and performance, the definition of “superior performance” is very application-specific. For example, some metal ablation applications may benefit from a long laser pulse, whereas semiconductor scribing needs a short pulse and a very high pulse repetition rate.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Lasers, Product development, Forming
Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.