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Active Aircraft Pylon Noise Control System
Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management
Method of Bonding Dissimilar Materials
Sonar Inspection Robot System
Applying the Dynamic Inertia Measurement Method to Full-Scale Aerospace Vehicles
Method and Apparatus for Measuring Surface Air Pressure
Fully Premixed, Low-Emission, High-Pressure, Multi-Fuel Burner
Self-Healing Wire Insulation
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Making 3D Objects Disappear

Invisibility cloaks are a staple of science fiction and fantasy, from Star Trek to Harry Potter, but don’t exist in real life. Or do they? Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have devised an ultra-thin invisibility “skin” cloak that can conform to the shape of an object and conceal it from detection with visible light. Although this cloak is only microscopic in size, the principles behind the technology should enable it to be scaled-up to conceal macroscopic items as well.A 3D illustration of a metasurface skin cloak made from an ultrathin layer of nanoantennas (gold blocks) covering an arbitrarily shaped object. Light reflects off the cloak (red arrows) as if it were reflecting off a flat mirror. (Credit: Xiang Zhang)

Posted in: Articles, News, Photonics

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New Spectroscopy Method Captures Reactions in Photosynthesis

A new spectroscopy method is bringing researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) closer to understanding – and artificially replicating – the solar water-splitting reaction at the heart of photosynthetic energy production. Understanding the step-by-step mechanism of photosynthesis could lead to methods of producing highly efficient solar energy. The spectroscopy method, a novel use of “2D HYSCORE,” is able to capture the reactions that split water and hydrogen peroxide in metal-containing proteins or metallo- enzymes in nature.Graphical representation of new method to capture reactions in photosynthesis.

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Understanding Lens Design Limitations

By understanding lens design limitations, it can be much easier to select the right combination of components in order to optimize an imaging system. Edmund Optics, Barrington, New Jersey Every lens has an absolute upper performance limit dictated by the laws of physics. This limitation is controlled by the working f/# of the lens and the wavelength( s) of light that pass through the lens. Known as the Diffraction Limit, this limitation is given in line pairs/mm and determines the theoretical maximum resolving power of the lens. Even a perfect lens that is not limited by design will be diffraction limited. This limit is the point where two Airy patterns are no longer distinguishable from each other. To calculate the diffraction limit, a simple formula that relates it to the f/# of the lens and the wavelength of light can be used. (See Figure 1)

Posted in: Briefs, Optics

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Megahertz-Rate Molecular Tagging Velocimetry

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia In recent years, a large number of Lagrangian-based optical velocimetry techniques have been developed that are known, collectively, as either flow tagging velocimetry or molecular tagging velocimetry. In either case, the method is based on the use of an optical resonance to “tag” a pattern into a flow. After suitable time delay, the displacement of the initially tagged fluid volume is interrogated using optical imaging — either planar laser-induced fluorescence from a second resonant excitation, or, in the case of tracer molecules with sufficiently long radiative lifetime, spontaneous emission. The objective of this innovation is to allow velocity measurement in hypersonic flows at which detecting movement requires very high detection rates.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Optics

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Quantum Cascade Laser Driver

Electronic noise from quantum cascade laser drivers has long limited the detection threshold of chemical sensors. That may no longer be a problem. Wavelength Electronics (Bozeman, MT) has introduced the QCL LAB family of instruments that couples an intuitive touchscreen display with low-noise drive electronics that drop detection thresholds up to an order of magnitude.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics

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Product of the Month: Combiner Block™

The new APC Combiner Block™ from American Photonics Co. (Sarasota, FL) replaces the first turning mirror in many CO2 laser machines to add three new capabilities: a visible alignment laser, a Half Collimator™, and precision alignment capabilities. The visible alignment laser adds the ability to align your machine without the need to burn spots with the CO2 laser, improving safety and speed of setup.

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Silicon Avalanche Photodiode Module

Excelitas Technologies Corp. (Waltham, MA) recently launched the new HeliX™ Silicon Avalanche Photodiode (Si APD) Module, employing its leading-edge Si APD detectors to deliver enhanced performance including high responsivity, broadband photon absorption (400- 1100nm), wide dynamic range and linearity, and exceptional signal-to-noise ratio. Designed for high-performance applications such as fluorescence measurement, distributed temperature sensing, analytical instrumentation, and laser scanning ophthalmology, the HeliX Si APD module provides highly accurate measurements and is fully customizable.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics

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