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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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Using a Wide-Band Tunable Laser for Optical Filter Measurements

The concept of dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) in fiber optic communication networks gained traction when optical amplifiers became available. Able to amplify an entire wavelength grid at once, they removed the need to first demultiplex, then convert every channel to an electrical signal, regenerate it, convert it back to an optical signal, and finally multiplex all channels onto a single optical fiber.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Photonics

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Implementing Color Machine Vision Inspection Systems

Color provides critical information that can improve the reliability of many machine vision inspection applications and make it possible to inspect many products that cannot be inspected in grayscale. Typical examples include ensuring that a tan rather than a taupe automotive interior component is installed, and checking the position of a black label on a black single-serving coffee cup.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, 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.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics

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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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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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Universal Fluorescence Illumination System

The new Lumen 1600-LED from Prior Scientific (Rockland, MA) is the latest product in Prior’s expanding microscopy illumination product line. The Lumen 1600-LED offers individual control for 16 selectable wavelengths. With its unique 16 selectable LED wavelengths, the Lumen 1600-LED is compatible with all simple and multiband filter sets. The Lumen 1600-LED has a “white light” mode with simple on/off and intensity buttons. Fitting directly to most microscopes, the system enables rapid switching between LED wavelengths to allow for capture of high-speed events.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics

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