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Self-Healing Wire Insulation
Thermomechanical Methodology for Stabilizing Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) Response
Space Optical Communications Using Laser Beams
High Field Superconducting Magnets
Active Response Gravity Offload and Method
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Product of the Month: Multi-Functional Goniometer

Lambda Research Corporation (Littleton, MA), the US distributor of opsira metrology equipment and designer and publisher of illumination and optical design software, has introduced the robogonio from opsira. The robogonio is the first robot-driven, multi-functional goniometer that incorporates six-axis measurement of angular-dependent photometric and radiometric parameters to combine the advantages of different conventional goniometer types into one device.

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Using Radiation-Hardened Optoelectronic Devices

Optoelectronic components must be protected from the radiation they are exposed to in military, space and nuclear environments to prevent malfunction and damage. Radiation hardening electronics makes them resistant to this damage by letting them retain characteristics, and keeps imaging and electrical performance consistent with pre-radiation values. This is especially critical for components used in applications like a satellite or a nuclear reactor that cannot be accessed and must work properly for many years.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics

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How Quantum Dots and Ultra HD Are Changing the Way TV Displays Are Made

Chances are you’re familiar with HDTV. Most of us have one of these in our living rooms. In fact, according to a recent study, more than 80% of US residents probably have at least one HDTV in their homes. And there’s a good possibility these sets are LCDs. They may be a few years old but they’re thin, look great hanging on the wall and basically do their job well. Some of these HDTVs also have 3D capabilities but the required glasses have long been lost to the couch cushions or the dog ate them or they just never made it out of the packaging due to lack of content support by broadcasters.

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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.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics

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