Camera-Equipped Vehicles ‘See the Light’ in Cities

Imagine if every police car, bus, and garbage truck gathered important infrastructure data as they made their usual routes through the city.

In different field tests around the world, re searchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cam bridge, MA) mounted a camera-and-sensor system to the tops of vehicles. As the cars traveled up and down streets, sophisticated software recognized and recorded the presence and strength of street lights. The software estimated pole heights and distinguished between the street lamp’s output and other points of illumination.

Posted in: Articles, Automotive, Optics, Imaging and visualization, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Intelligent transportation systems

Fabricating Optical Mirrors for Use in Outer Space Measurements

There are many ways to manufacture an optic depending on the complexity of the component and the application. From choosing the best substrate, to detailing the numerous operations required to make the optic, all the while considering tight tolerances and other specifications. This article highlights the precision needed to successfully fabricate the mirrors for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment’s (HETDEX’s) Visible Integral Field Replicable Unit Spectrographs (VIRUS) unit which was designed to measure dark energy in outer space.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Optics, Measuring Instruments, Mirrors, Measurements, Fabrication

Making VR a NASA Reality

NASA researchers want to prove that a virtual reality headset like the Oculus Rift is not just a toy. Josh Kinne, a deputy project manager at NASA Langley Research Center, sees a future role for virtual and augmented reality in the agency’s research and development, CAD design, and data visualization efforts.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Optics, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Simulation Software, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Computer simulation, Virtual reality

Integrating Novel Materials to Improve Medical Device Performance

Today’s implantables are highly engineered assemblies with multiple complex elements that require innovative materials and sophisticated manufacturing. The development and use of new and novel materials and processes has enabled advances in both medical device performance and patient safety. Whether it’s a lighter material, a smoother surface, or a process that can be automated and repeatable, advanced technologies such as scratch-free surfaces or specialized coatings for stimulation can help extend or improve the life of implantable devices.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics

Laser-Driven Light Source

Energetiq Technology (Woburn, MA) has introduced its 5th generation, ultra-bright, Laser-Driven Light Source (LDLS™), the EQ-77. The EQ-77 offers higher radiance and irradiance from a truly broadband white light source. The EQ-77 features a compact lamp house, with clean construction that ensures long life and ultimate stability. With a wavelength range from 170nm in the deep ultraviolet to >2µm in the near infrared, and a choice of dual-beam output or a single-beam output with retro-reflector, the EQ-77 is flexible for a broad variety of applications.

To learn more, click here

Posted in: Products, Lasers & Laser Systems

Diffuse Reflectance Probe

The Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) Diffuse Reflectance Probe (DR-Probe) measures 45° diffuse reflectance, enhancing UV-Vis and NIR spectroscopy results. The DR-Probe integrates a light source and collection optics into one unit. With the probe’s collection optics fixed in place relative to the light source, the measurement geometry is constant. An included standoff accessory ensures a consistent 40 mm focal length between the probe and the sample. The DR-Probe has rugged, all-metal construction for durability, and its 6W tungsten halogen bulb has a 10,000-hour lifetime.

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Posted in: Products, Optics, Photonics, Instrumentation

Ferrule Cleaner

Fiber Optic Center, Inc., (FOC) (New Bedford, MA) has announced the addition of the US Conec IBC™ Brand Ferrule Cleaner MTP-16™ and IBC™ Brand Ferrule Cleaner PRIZM® MT / MXC to their cable assembly lines options. IBC™ Brand Cleaner MTP-16™ (Part # 17669) is a multifiber cleaner which cleans MTP-16™, TIA-604-5 compliant MPO connectors only. This cleaner can be used to clean both flat and angled MTP-16™ ferrules. The PRIZM® MT cleaning tool (Part # 15990) is designed specifically for use with US Conec’s PRIZM® MT lensed ferrule technology.

To learn more, click here

Posted in: Products, Fiber Optics

Silicon Nanoantennas Turn Light Around

An artist’s rendering of nonlinear light scattering by a dimer of two silicon particles with a variable radiation pattern.

A team of physicists from ITMO University, MIPT, and The University of Texas at Austin have developed an unconventional nanoantenna that scatters light in a particular direction depending on the intensity of incident radiation. The research findings will help with the development of flexible optical information processing in telecommunication systems.

Posted in: News, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Photonics

Researchers Create First “Water-Wave” Laser

Artist’s impression of a water wave laser.

Technion researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, that laser emissions can be created through the interaction of light and water waves. This “water-wave laser” could someday be used in tiny sensors that combine light waves, sound and water waves, or as a feature on microfluidic “lab-on-a-chip” devices used to study cell biology and to test new drug therapies. For now, the water-wave laser offers a “playground” for scientists studying the interaction of light and fluid at a scale smaller than the width of a human hair.

Posted in: News, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics

Scientists Find New Way to Image Solar Cells in 3-D

The Molecular Foundry’s Edward Barnard is part of a team of scientists that developed a new way to see inside solar cells. (Credit: Marilyn Chung)

Next-generation solar cells made of super-thin films of semiconducting material hold promise because they’re relatively inexpensive and flexible enough to be applied just about anywhere. Researchers are working to dramatically increase the efficiency at which thin-film solar cells convert sunlight to electricity. But it’s a tough challenge, partly because a solar cell’s subsurface realm—where much of the energy-conversion action happens—is inaccessible to real-time, nondestructive imaging. It’s difficult to improve processes you can’t see.

Posted in: News, Imaging, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics

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