Special Coverage

Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing
Mechanoresponsive Healing Polymers
Variable Permeability Magnetometer Systems and Methods for Aerospace Applications
Evaluation Standard for Robotic Research
Small Robot Has Outstanding Vertical Agility
Smart Optical Material Characterization System and Method
Lightweight, Flexible Thermal Protection System for Fire Protection
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Machine Vision System Measures ‘Drops’ in Citrus Grove Health

A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher has developed a machine vision system to measure the quantity of a citrus grove’s dropped and decayed oranges. The fallen fruit provides an indication of a so-far incurable disease that has been spreading through Florida’s trees since its first appearance in the state in 2005.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, Imaging, Photonics, Mathematical models, Diseases, Agricultural vehicles and equipment

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Customized Optical Components

Precision Glass & Optics (PG&O) (Santa Ana, CA) announced the customization of two thin-film optical components for a high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) accessory developed by Avotec, Inc. (Stuart, FL). The Real Eye Nano™ is an advanced visual presentation and eye-tracking system constructed entirely of glass and plastic, with a reduced size that makes it ideal for operation in confined MRI spaces. PG&O developed the dielectric cold mirror and cylindrical prism mirror for the Real Eye Nano. The system allows the MRI patient to view a unique visual demonstration concurrently while the patient’s eyes are illuminated with near-infrared (980 nm) light supplied by an IR light-emitting diode (LED)/fused fiber cable/fiber bundle. PG&O contributed expertise in designing and applying the thin-film coating to the large dichroic mirror and in shaping the multi-element lens for this revolutionary fMRI system.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Optical Components

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Industrial Picosecond Lasers

A new generation of industrial picosecond lasers from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) combines high-performance and exceptional reliability in a lower-cost platform to make a wide range of precision materials processing economically viable. The HyperRapid NX product range includes 1064 nm output models with pulse energies as high as 250 μJ (typically with 10 ps pulse duration), at repetition rates up to 2 MHz. This enables high-throughput processes, including enough power for the beam to be split in order to run multiple optical trains within one machine. The product line also includes high-power models with output at 532 nm and 355 nm.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lasers & Laser Systems

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Ultrasonic Piezo Motor Drives

Precision motion and nanopositioning systems specialist PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. (Auburn, MA) recently released the smallest member in their miniature rotary stage series with ultrasonic piezo motor drives. The U-622 is joining two other high dynamics miniaturized ultrasonic rotary positioners, U-624 and U-628. Vacuum compatible versions to 10-6 hPa are available.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics

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Frame Grabber

The FireBird Camera Link Deca board frame grabber from Active Silicon (Iver, UK) is now available in two form factors: a full-height version with front panel IO and a low-profile/half-height version. The low-profile design allows the FireBird Low Profile board to be used in small embedded PC enclosures and rack-mount cases where full-height PC cards are not suitable. A full-height bracket option is available for use in standard PC form-factor enclosures.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics

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Motorized Actuators

A new series of low-cost DC drive motors from Siskiyou Corporation (Grants Pass, OR) enables precise, hands-free adjustment of translation stages and mirror mounts, using a simple, push-button control pad. Specifically, the new 500 series actuators can replace manual screw and micrometer adjusters on Siskiyou’s crossed roller bearing linear stages, kinematic mirror mounts, and IS OGP beam steering assembly for microscopes. The hand-held controller for operating these actuators offers two preset drive speeds (0.3 mm/s and 0.1 mm/second), as well as an adjustable low speed range (from 10 μm/s to 30 μm/s). The latter enables consistent, small moves (down to 1.0 μm) with a single, short button press.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics

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Acrylate-Based Specialty Optical Fiber Coatings for Harsh Environments

Applications of optical fibers at high temperatures and in harsh environments demand coatings sustainable under those conditions. The goal of this work was to evaluate thermal and environmental stability of a series of commercially available and in-house formulated acrylate-based coatings. Dual and single-coat fiber designs were tested. The individual formulations included non-urethane and urethane acrylates, silicone acrylates and an organic-inorganic hybrid acrylate. The “as drawn” fibers were tested for attenuation, mechanical reliability, microbend sensitivity, delamination resistance and coating stripability. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was used for estimating the use temperature of the coatings. In addition, the fibers were exposed to harsh environments, including dry aging in air (150°C) and in nitrogen (250°C), autoclaving, immersion in high pressure/temperature water (up to 200°C and 2000 psi) and immersion in a hot cable gel (160°C). Based on the obtained results, the best formulations were ranked for suitability in different types of fiber application.

Posted in: White Papers, Aeronautics, Defense, Optics, Photonics

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