Photonics/Optics

Microstructural Explorations Inside Fuel Cells

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), a promising technology that can efficiently produce energy using fossil fuels with no moving parts and low emissions, present a particularly perplexing economic challenge: current systems operate at maximum efficiency between 700 and 1000 degrees Celsius, but such high temperatures shorten their service life, requiring more frequent fuel cell stack replacements. Lowering the operating temperature makes them last longer, but requires additional cells in the stack to deliver the same performance, and that drives up costs.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Emissions control, Fuel cells, Thermodynamics, Thermodynamics, Durability, Reliability, Durability, Reliability
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CMOS The Future of Image Sensor Technology

CMOS imaging is trending to become the dominant imaging technology. Initially, CMOS was limited by its inherent noise. Architectures were then essentially analog and the idea of integrating the image processing features with System On Chip (SoC) technology was yet to be considered. However, it is fundamentally this SoC characteristic of CMOS that has driven impressive growth. Over the years, this technology has become more and more competitive. The commercial race started in early 2000 when the big players applied continuous improvements to electro-optical performance.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Photonics, Architecture, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Architecture, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators
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Ruggedization of Imaging Lenses

Imaging lenses used in many industrial machine vision applications have special requirements beyond those of standard imaging lenses. The lenses used in factory automation, robotics, and industrial inspection have to work in specific and demanding environments, which could involve vibrations, shocks, temperature changes, and contaminants. Because of these environmental requirements, new classes of ruggedized lenses are being designed specifically to work in a multitude of different scenarios, therefore creating different types of ruggedization. There are three distinct types of ruggedization available: industrial ruggedization, ingress protection ruggedization, and stability ruggedization.

Posted in: Articles, Cameras, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Robotics, Vibration, Vibration, Durability, Durability
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The Advanced Land Imager Helped NASA Mission Exceed Expectations.

After more than 16 years of operation, NASA’s Earth Observing–1 (EO-1) spacecraft was decommissioned on March 30 of this year. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) developed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory was aboard as an alternative to the land-imaging sensor that was used by the Landsat Earth-observing program.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Architecture, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Architecture, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Satellites, Spacecraft
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New Products: July 2017 Photonics & Imaging Technology

Photoluminescence Spectrometer (PRIORITY)

Edinburgh Instruments (Kirkton Campus, UK) introduces the FLS1000 state-of-the-art, modular photoluminescence spectrometer. The instrument excels in both steady state and time-resolved spectroscopy. It can be configured for spectral measurements from the ultraviolet to the mid-infrared spectral range, and for lifetime measurements spanning time resolutions over 12 orders of magnitude from picoseconds to seconds. Its ultimate sensitivity for the standard water Raman measurement is >30,000:1.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Photonics
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Robotic Vision Keeps an Assembly Plant at Home

A major manufacturer of electromechanical products had been operating six separate indexing assembly machines, each producing one of a family of more than 75 different products at about 40 parts per minute. The machines frequently sat idle as demand fluctuated for the various products. Labor expenses were high since each machine required a dedicated operator. The manufacturer considered moving the six machines and their entire production offshore to reduce labor expenses and save floor space at its European facility.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Robotics, Inspections
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Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors

The effectiveness of airborne search and rescue, navigation, and situational awareness tasks is predicated on the availability of high-resolution imagery that provides pilots with a clear picture and the widest possible field of view. While the human eye is extremely high resolution with an unmatched ability to detect high-spatial-frequency (HSF) objects across a wide field of regard, human vision can easily fatigue, is subject to environmental conditions, and is vastly degraded at night.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Surveillance, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Surveillance, Thermodynamics, Thermodynamics, Rescue operations, Aircraft
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Snapshot High-resolution Hyperspectral Imaging

Traditional digital cameras are comprised of an image sensor, typically either a Charge-Coupled Device (CCD), or, more commonly Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS). In either case, these devices integrate an array of photodiodes which convert photons to current which is then integrated over time and digitized. The sensing device is agnostic to the wavelength of detected photons, as long as the energy of these photons is sufficient to create electron-hole pairs which can then be separated under an electric field.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Photonics, Architecture, Charge coupled devices, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Architecture, Charge coupled devices, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators
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Chip-Scale Device ‘Fine-Tunes’ Wireless Communications

Achip-scale optical device, developed by a team from the University of Sydney’s Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST), achieves radio frequency signal control at sub-nanosecond time scales. The photonics breakthrough has the potential to provide broader bandwidth instantaneously to more users.

Posted in: Articles, Cameras, Imaging, Photonics, Internet, Optics, Radio equipment, Wireless communication systems, Internet, Optics, Radio equipment, Wireless communication systems
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Round Lens. Square Pixels. Accurate Images. Really?

Alens is cylindrical. It captures light in a circular plane for collection onto a rectangular digital sensor plane. This collection of photons is then transformed into electricity by smaller square pixels. Just how do these disparate shapes work together to provide usable images?

Posted in: Articles, Cameras, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators
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