January 2011

News : Energy
Looking to Cow Rumen for Better Biofuels Enzymes

A cow's digestive system allows it to eat more than 150 pounds of plant matter every day. Now researchers report that they have found dozens of previously unknown microbial enzymes in the bovine rumen – the cow's primary grass-digestion chamber – that contribute to the breakdown of...

Products : Energy
LED Driver ICs

Power Integrations (San Jose, CA) offers seven new members of its LinkSwitch-PH family of LED driver ICs. Optimized for industrial and commercial settings where high efficiency and system longevity are dominant requirements, the new devices (LNK413-LNK419) are suitable for lighting applications ranging from 3 W bulbs to 55 W...

Products
Multiplexer

Bitwise Systems (Goleta, CA) has announced their new Model QMUX16X2 Multiplexer designed to permit test and measuring equipment to connect to many signals. QMUX can measure two selected signals at the same time. The multiplexer features 16 inputs and 2 outputs and can be powered and controlled by a single, full-speed USB 2.0...

Products
Quarter Brick DC/DC Converter

FDK Corporation (Sunnyvale, CA) has introduced a new high power regulated quarter brick to its Sensei Series of isolated DC/DC converters. The FPQR48T5R050 converter provides 50 Amperes (A) of output current (250 Watts) with outstanding thermal performance. This converter is designed for Intermediate Bus...

Products
Tactile Switch

The TL3300 series SMT tact switch from E-Switch (Minneapolis, MN) offers a long life expectancy of 200,000 cycles, multiple actuator options and multiple force options. Force options range from 160 grams to 520 grams. The size of the TL3300 series tact switch is 12mm x 12mm. Other key specifications include: 50mA, 12VDC contact...

Products
Switch-on-a-Chip ICs

Micrel (San Jose, CA) has launched the KSZ8895/8875/8864 series of low- power, highly integrated, 4/5-port Layer-2 switch-on-a-chip ICs. Leveraging Micrel’s latest green physical transceiver and switch technology, the product family achieves a 50 percent reduction in power consumption compared to the previous generation...

Products
MIL-STD-1553 PMC Card

Data Device Corporation (DDC) (Bohemia, NY) has introduced a new Enhanced Bit Rate-1553 (EBR-1553) and MIL-STD-1553 PMC combo card, for both embedded and lab applications. DDCís BU-65580MX PMC card combines one dual redundant MIL-STD-1553 channel and one Enhanced Bit Rate-1553 (EBR-1553) channel with a four port hub on a...

Question of the Week
Will an optional phone-disabling service make the roads safer?

This week's Question focuses on a new service from T-Mobile that, for just 4.99 a month, automatically disables rings and messages, and sends calls to voicemail when the phone is in a moving car. The services being tested and deployed are voluntary and can be overridden if a driver...

Products : Energy
Mid-Range Power MOSFETs

International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) has introduced a family of DirectFET®plus power MOSFETs featuring IR’s new generation of silicon that sets a standard in efficiency for 12V input synchronous buck applications including next-generation servers, desktops, and notebooks.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Fuel Cell Research and Development Funding Opportunity

Fuel cells use the chemical energy of hydrogen or other fuels to efficiently produce electricity or heat with minimal byproducts, primarily water. The DOE is accepting applications for a total of up to $74 million to support the research and development of clean, reliable fuel cells for...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Solar Reactor Converts Carbon Dioxide and Water Into Fuel

Cerium oxide — or ceria — is a common metal most famously used in self-cleaning ovens, and it is the centerpiece of a new technology from California Institute of Technology that concentrates solar energy and uses it to efficiently convert carbon dioxide and water into fuels.

Question of the Week
Will the Apple/Verizon partnership lead to widespread iPhone use in the enterprise?

This week's question addresses last week's news that Verizon will soon sell the iPhone 4. Although some analysts say the move may double Apple's market share, many enterprises and financial institutions have held back on the mobile device due to concerns of its...

Products : Energy
Power Modules

National Semiconductor Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) introduced three SIMPLE SWITCHER® power modules to drive high output voltage applications in a variety of markets including industrial and communications infrastructure. The power modules provide the efficiency of a synchronous switching regulator with the simplicity of a linear...

Products : Energy
60V Synchronous Step-Down DC/DC Controller

Linear Technology Corporation (Milpitas, CA) introduces the LTC3810H-5, a high input voltage synchronous step-down DC/DC controller with specifications for junction temperatures up to 150°C. The rugged controller can directly step down voltages from 60V to an output voltage ranging from 0.8V to 93% of...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
2010 Create the Future Design Contest Winners E-Book

The 2010 Create the Future Design Contest, sponsored by COMSOL, Inc., PTC, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs), recognized innovation in product design in six categories: Consumer Products, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety & Security, Sustainable Technologies,...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Speeding Cleanup of Contaminated Sites

An engineering team at Oregon State University has invented a new type of radiation detection and measurement device that will be useful for cleanup of sites with radioactive contamination - making the process faster, more accurate, and less expensive.

Briefs : Energy
Spring Tire
A new tire is made from helical springs, requires no air or rubber, and consumes nearly zero energy. The spring tire provides greater traction in sandy and/or rocky soil, can operate in microgravity and under harsh conditions, and is non-pneumatic.
Briefs : Software
Distributed Aerodynamic Sensing and Processing Toolbox

A Distributed Aerodynamic Sensing and Processing (DASP) toolbox was designed and fabricated for flight test applications with an Aerostructures Test Wing (ATW) mounted under the fuselage of an F-15B on the Flight Test Fixture (FTF). DASP monitors and processes the aerodynamics with the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Network-Capable Application Process and Wireless Intelligent Sensors for ISHM

Intelligent sensor technology and systems are increasingly becoming attractive means to serve as frameworks for intelligent rocket test facilities with embedded intelligent sensor elements, distributed data acquisition elements, and onboard data acquisition elements....

Briefs : Information Technology
Hazard Detection Software for Lunar Landing

The Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) Project is developing a system for safe and precise manned lunar landing that involves novel sensors, but also specific algorithms. ALHAT has selected imaging LIDAR (light detection and ranging) as the sensing modality for onboard hazard...

Briefs : Information Technology
Collaborative Supervised Learning for Sensor Networks

Collaboration methods for distributed machine-learning algorithms involve the specification of communication protocols for the learners, which can query other learners and/or broadcast their findings preemptively. Each learner incorporates information from its neighbors into its own training...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Onboard Nonlinear Engine Sensor and Component Fault Diagnosis and Isolation Scheme

A method detects and isolates in-flight sensor, actuator, and component faults for advanced propulsion systems. In sharp contrast to many conventional methods, which deal with either sensor fault or component fault, but not both, this method considers sensor...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Interface Supports Multiple Broadcast Transceivers for Flight Applications

A wireless avionics interface provides a mechanism for managing multiple broadcast transceivers. This interface isolates the control logic required to support multiple transceivers so that the flight application does not have to manage wireless transceivers. All of the...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
FPGA Sequencer for Radar Altimeter Applications

A sequencer for a radar altimeter provides accurate attitude information for a reliable soft landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). This is a field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA)-only implementation. A table loaded externally into the FPGA controls timing, processing, and decision...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
SAD5 Stereo Correlation Line-Striping in an FPGA

High precision SAD5 stereo computations can be performed in an FPGA (field-programmable gate array) at much higher speeds than possible in a conventional CPU (central processing unit), but this uses large amounts of FPGA resources that scale with image size. Of the two key resources in an FPGA,...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Miniature Sapphire Acoustic Resonator — MSAR

A room temperature sapphire acoustics resonator incorporated into an oscillator represents a possible opportunity to improve on quartz ultrastable oscillator (USO) performance, which has been a staple for NASA missions since the inception of spaceflight. Where quartz technology is very mature and...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Process-Hardened, Multi-Analyte Sensor for Characterizing Rocket Plume Constituents

A multi-analyte sensor was developed that enables simultaneous detection of rocket engine combustion-product molecules in a launch-vehicle ground test stand. The sensor was developed using a pin-printing method by incorporating multiple sensor elements on a...

Briefs : Software
Marsviewer 2008

Marsviewer 2008 is designed for quality control, browsing, and operational and science analysis of images and derived image products returned by spacecraft. This program allows all derived products (reduced data records, or RDRs) associated with each original image (experiment data record, or EDR) to be viewed in various ways,...

Briefs : Software
Mission Services Evolution Center Message Bus

The Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC) Message Bus is a robust, lightweight, fault-tolerant middleware implementation that supports all messaging capabilities of the GMSEC API, including publish/subscribe and request/reply. The Message Bus enables NASA to provide an open-source...

Briefs : Software
Major Constituents Analysis for the Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor

Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor (VCAM) can provide a means for monitoring the air within enclosed environments such as the International Space Station, the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), a Lunar habitat, or another vehicle traveling to Mars. Its miniature preconcentrator, gas...

Briefs : Software
Astronaut Health Participant Summary Application

The Longitudinal Study of Astronaut Health (LSAH) Participant Summary software captures data based on a custom information model designed to gather all relevant, discrete medical events for its study participants. This software provides a summarized view of the study participant’s entire medical...

Briefs : Software
Natural Language Interface for Safety Certification of Safety-Critical Software

Model-based design and automated code generation are being used increasingly at NASA. The trend is to move beyond simulation and prototyping to actual flight code, particularly in the guidance, navigation, and control domain. However, there are substantial obstacles...

Briefs : Software
Adaption of the AMDIS Method to Flight Status on the VCAM Instrument

Software has been developed to function onboard the International Space Station (ISS) to help safeguard human health by detecting compounds of concern in the cabin atmosphere, both in identity and concentration. This software calibrates and processes a standard 2D dataset (mass...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Hybrid Composite Cryogenic Tank Structure

A hybrid lightweight composite tank has been created using specially designed materials and manufacturing processes. The tank is produced by using a hybrid structure consisting of at least two reinforced composite material systems. The inner composite layer comprises a distinct fiber and resin matrix...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Nanoscale Deformable Optics

Several missions and instruments in the conceptual design phase rely on the technique of interferometry to create detectable fringe patterns. The intimate emplacement of reflective material upon electron device cells based upon chalcogenide material technology permits high-speed, predictable deformation of the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Zinc Oxide Nanowire Interphase for Enhanced Lightweight Polymer Fiber Composites

The objective of this work was to increase the interfacial strength between aramid fiber and epoxy matrix. This was achieved by functionalizing the aramid fiber followed by growth of a layer of ZnO nanowires on the fiber surface such that when embedded into the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Reliability-Based Design Optimization of a Composite Airframe Component

A stochastic optimization methodology (SDO) has been developed to design air-frame structural components made of metallic and composite materials. The design method accommodates uncertainties in load, strength, and material properties that are defined by distribution...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Plasma Igniter for Reliable Ignition of Combustion in Rocket Engines

A plasma igniter has been developed for initiating combustion in liquid-propellant rocket engines. The device propels a hot, dense plasma jet, consisting of elemental fluorine and fluorine compounds, into the combustion chamber to ignite the cold propellant mixture. The igniter...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Sub-Hertz, Low-Frequency Vibration Isolation Platform

One of the major technical problems deep-space optical communication (DSOC) systems need to solve is the isolation of the optical terminal from vibrations produced by the spacecraft navigational control system and by the moving parts of onboard instruments. Even under these vibration...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wire Test Grip Fixture

Wire-testing issues, such as the gripping strains imposed on the wire, play a critical role in obtaining clean data. In a standard test frame fitted with flat wedge grips, the gripping action alone creates stresses on the wire specimen that cause the wire to fail at the grip location. When conventional wire grip fixtures...

Briefs : Materials
Carbon Nanofibers Synthesized on Selective Substrates for Nonvolatile Memory and 3D Electronics

A plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) growth technique has been developed where the choice of starting substrate was found to influence the electrical characteristics of the resulting carbon nanofiber (CNF) tubes. It has been determined...

Briefs : Materials
Nanoparticle/Polymer Nanocomposite Bond Coat or Coating

This innovation addresses the problem of coatings (meant to reduce gas permeation) applied to polymer matrix composites spalling off in service due to incompatibility with the polymer matrix. A bond coat/coating has been created that uses chemically functionalized nanoparticles (either clay...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Cryogenic Caging for Science Instrumentation

A method has been developed for caging science instrumentation to protect from pyro-shock and EDL (entry, descent, and landing) acceleration damage. Caging can be achieved by immersing the instrument (or its critical parts) in a liquid and solidifying the liquid by cooling. After the launch shock...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Wide-Range Neutron Detector for Space Nuclear Applications

A digital, wide-range, neutron detection (WRND) system in a compact, VME form factor monitors neutron activity within the core of a nuclear reactor across the reactor’s entire operating range, from 1.0 n/cm2/s up to 1010 n/cm2/s. This allows for a...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
In Situ Guided Wave Structural Health Monitoring System

Aircraft engine rotating equipment operates at high temperatures and stresses. Noninvasive inspection of microcracks in those components poses a challenge for nondestructive evaluation. A low-cost, low-profile, high-temperature ultrasonic guided wave sensor was developed that detects cracks...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Multiplexed Energy Coupler for Rotating Equipment

A multiplexing antenna assembly can efficiently couple AC signal/energy into, or out of, rotating equipment. The unit only passes AC energy while blocking DC energy. Concentric tubes that are sliced into multiple pieces are assembled together so that, when a piece from an outer tube aligns well...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Attitude Estimation in Fractionated Spacecraft Cluster Systems

An attitude estimation was examined in fractioned free-flying spacecraft. Instead of a single, monolithic spacecraft, a fractionated free-flying spacecraft uses multiple spacecraft modules. These modules are connected only through wireless communication links and, potentially,...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Method and System for Temporal Filtering in Video Compression Systems

Three related innovations combine improved non-linear motion estimation, video coding, and video compression. The first system comprises a method in which side information is generated using an adaptive, non-linear motion model. This method enables extrapolating and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Apparatus for Measuring Total Emissivity of Small, Low-Emissivity Samples

An apparatus was developed for measuring total emissivity of small, lightweight, low-emissivity samples at low temperatures. The entire apparatus fits inside a small laboratory cryostat. Sample installation and removal are relatively quick, allowing for faster testing.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Active Flow Effectors for Noise and Separation Control

New flow effector technology for separation control and enhanced mixing is based upon shape memory alloy hybrid composite (SMAHC) technology. The technology allows for variable shape control of aircraft structures through actively deformable surfaces. The flow effectors are made by embedding...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
High-Sensitivity, Broad-Range Vacuum Gauge Using Nanotubes for Micromachined Cavities

A broad-range vacuum gauge has been created by suspending a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) (metallic or semiconducting) in a Schottky diode format or in a bridge conductor format, between two electrically charged mesas. SWNTs are highly sensitive to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Full Piezoelectric Multilayer-Stacked Hybrid Actuation/ Transduction Systems

The Stacked HYBATS (Hybrid Actuation/Transduction system) demonstrates significantly enhanced electromechanical performance by using the cooperative contributions of the electromechanical responses of multilayer, stacked negative strain components and positive strain...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Extracting Zero-Gravity Surface Figure of a Mirror

The technical innovation involves refinement of the classic optical technique of averaging surface measurements made in different orientations with respect to gravity, so the effects of gravity cancel in the averaged image. Particularly for large, thin mirrors subject to substantial deformation,...

Briefs : Information Technology
Visual SLAM Using Variance Grid Maps

An algorithm denoted “Gamma-SLAM” performs further processing, in real time, of preprocessed digitized images acquired by a stereoscopic pair of electronic cameras aboard an off-road robotic ground vehicle to build accurate maps of the terrain and determine the location of the vehicle with respect to the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Modeling Electromagnetic Scattering From Complex Inhomogeneous Objects

This software innovation is designed to develop a mathematical formulation to estimate the electromagnetic scattering characteristics of complex, inhomogeneous objects using the finite-element-method (FEM) and method-of-moments (MoM) concepts, as well as to develop a FORTRAN...

Briefs : Information Technology
Visual Object Recognition and Tracking of Tools

A method has been created to automatically build an algorithm off-line, using computer-aided design (CAD) models, and to apply this at runtime. The object type is discriminated, and the position and orientation are identified. This system can work with a single image and can provide improved...

Briefs : Information Technology
Predicting Spacecraft Trajectories by the WeavEncke Method

A combination of methods is proposed of predicting spacecraft trajectories that possibly include multiple maneuvers and/or perturbing accelerations, with greater speed, accuracy, and repeatability than were heretofore achievable. The combination is denoted the WeavEncke method because it...

Briefs : Information Technology
An Augmentation of G-Guidance Algorithms

The original G-Guidance algorithm provided an autonomous guidance and control policy for small-body proximity operations that took into account uncertainty and dynamics disturbances. However, there was a lack of robustness in regards to object proximity while in autonomous mode. The modified G-Guidance...

Briefs : Information Technology
Rapid Calculation of Spacecraft Trajectories Using Efficient Taylor Series Integration

A variable-order, variable-step Taylor series integration algorithm was implemented in NASA Glenn’s SNAP (Spacecraft N-body Analysis Program) code. SNAP is a high-fidelity trajectory propagation program that can propagate the trajectory of a spacecraft about...

Briefs : Information Technology
Comparison of Aircraft Icing Growth Assessment Software

A research project is underway to produce computer software that can accurately predict ice growth under any meteorological conditions for any aircraft surface. An extensive comparison of the results in a quantifiable manner against the database of ice shapes that have been generated in the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Efficient Kriging Algorithms

More efficient versions of an interpolation method, called kriging, have been introduced in order to reduce its traditionally high computational cost. Written in C++, these approaches were tested on both synthetic and real data.

Briefs : Information Technology
Estimation of Coriolis Force and Torque Acting on Ares-1

A document describes work on the origin of Coriolis force and estimating Coriolis force and torque applied to the Ares-1 vehicle during its ascent, based on an internal ballistics model for a multi-segmented solid rocket booster (SRB).

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Null Lens Assembly for X-Ray Mirror Segments

A document discusses a null lens assembly that allows laser interferometry of 60° slumped glass mirror segments used in x-ray mirrors. The assembly consists of four lenses in precise alignment to each other, with incorporated piezoelectric nanometer stepping actuators to position the lenses in six...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
High-Precision Pulse Generator

A document discusses a pulse generator with subnanosecond resolution implemented with a low-cost field-programmable gate array (FPGA) at low power levels. The method used exploits the fast carry chains of certain FPGAs. Prototypes have been built and tested in both Actel AX and Xilinx Virtex 4 technologies....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Silicon-Germanium Voltage-Controlled Oscillator at 105 GHz

A group at UCLA, in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has designed a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) created specifically for a compact, integrated, electronically tunable frequency generator useable for submillimeter-wave science instruments operating in extreme cold...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
Space Suit Simulator Aids Astronaut Training Procedures
Extra-Vehicular Activity Space Suit Simulator (S3)
Aurora Flight Sciences
Cambridge, MA
703-396-6304
www.aurora.aero

Aurora Flight Sciences has teamed up with professors Dana Newman and Jeffrey Hoffman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)...

Application Briefs : Software
Software System Manages NASA’s Engineering Review Process
Engineering Review Board Information System (ERBIS)
a.i. solutions
Lanham, MD
301-306-1756
www.ai-solutions.com

Managing the people, data, and activities associated with NASA’s Engineering Review Process (ERP) presents challenges to engineers and mission...

NASA Tech Needs
NASA Planetary Balloon Technology Needs

Innovations in materials, structures, and systems concepts have enabled buoyant vehicles to play an expanding role in planning NASA’s future Solar System Exploration Program. Balloons and aerobots containing science instruments can cover large distances in short periods of time, and obtain science data...

Products
Solid Edge® software ST3

Siemens PLM Software, Plano, TX, has released Solid Edge® software ST3, a hybrid 2D/3D design tool that features the company’s Synchronous Technology (ST), which accelerates product design, streamlines revisions, and improves importing and reusing of third-party CAD data. Synchronous-based models can be used directly...

Articles : Software
Industry Update: CAD and Virtual Prototyping Software

A Stagnant Market?

A number of the executives we polled indicated that the CAD market has become a “mature” market, meaning that the number of truly innovative improvements in the technology has leveled off. “For several years, the CAD market had been on a fairly steady and...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Wide-Field Optic for Autonomous Acquisition of Laser Link

An innovation reported in “Two-Camera Acquisition and Tracking of a Flying Target,” NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 32, No. 8 (August 2008), p. 20, used a commercial fish-eye lens and an electronic imaging camera for initially locating objects with subsequent handover to an actuated...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Method for Implementing Optical Phase Adjustment

A method has been developed to mechanically implement the optical phase shift by adjusting the polarization of the pump and probe beams in an NMOR (nonlinear magneto-optical rotation) magnetometer as the proper phase shift is necessary to induce self-oscillation. This innovation consists of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Multiple-Zone Diffractive Optic Element for Laser Ranging Applications

A diffractive optic element (DOE) can be used as a beam splitter to generate multiple laser beams from a single input laser beam. This technology has been recently used in LRO’s Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument to generate five laser beams that measure the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Simplified Architecture for Precise Aiming of a Deep-Space Communication Laser Transceiver

The simplified architecture is a minimal system for a deep-space optical communications transceiver. For a deep-space optical communications link the simplest form of the transceiver requires (1) an efficient modulated optical source, (2) a point-ahead...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Two-Photon-Absorption Scheme for Optical Beam Tracking

A new optical beam tracking approach for free-space optical communication links using two-photon absorption (TPA) in a high-bandgap detector material was demonstrated. This tracking scheme is part of the canonical architecture described in the preceding article. TPA is used to track a...

Who's Who
Steven Schmidt, Director, Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility (DAOF), Palmdale, CA

Steven Schmidt joined NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in 1994 as a project engineer and manager on programs such as the X-33, X-38, X-43A, F-15 Advanced Control Technology for Integrated Vehicles, and the SR-71. Between January 2002 and August 2004 Schmidt...

Podcasts
Steven Schmidt, Director, Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility (DAOF), Palmdale, CA

Steven Schmidt joined NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in 1994 as a project engineer and manager on programs such as the X-33, X-38, X-43A, F-15 Advanced Control Technology for Integrated Vehicles, and the SR-71. Between January 2002 and August 2004...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Using Fan-poled Crystals to Tune Ti:S Lasers

Titanium:Sapphire (Ti:S)-based laser systems have revolutionized ultrafast research from biological imaging to high energy physics. Ti:S has a very broad gain bandwidth (680-1080 nm) but many applications require even broader tuning ranges covering UV, visible, and longer IR wavelengths. Frequency...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Using Optical Encoders to Improve Camera Phone Zoom Lens Accuracy

A wide range of commercial applications use cameras with a zooming mechanism. Perhaps the most ubiquitous is the camera phone. Camera phones may have an optical zoom, a digital zoom, or both. What’s the difference? An optical zoom actually changes the effective focal length of...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Method for Implementing Optical Phase Adjustment

A method has been developed to mechanically implement the optical phase shift by adjusting the polarization of the pump and probe beams in an NMOR (nonlinear magneto-optical rotation) magnetometer as the proper phase shift is necessary to induce self-oscillation. This innovation consists of...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Multiple-Zone Diffractive Optic Element for Laser Ranging Applications

A diffractive optic element (DOE) can be used as a beam splitter to generate multiple laser beams from a single input laser beam. This technology has been recently used in LRO’s Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument to generate five laser beams that measure the...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Two-Photon-Absorption Scheme for Optical Beam Tracking

A new optical beam tracking approach for free-space optical communication links using two-photon absorption (TPA) in a high-bandgap detector material was demonstrated. This tracking scheme is part of the canonical architecture described in the preceding article. TPA is used to track a...

Products
Product of the Month: Solar Simulation Measurement Tool

Oriel® (Stratford, CT) has announced a new uniformity measurement tool for measuring the uniformity of irradiance at the sample plane of solar simulators. The new PV tool is equipped with a single metal test platen, compatible with English/metric table mounts, and with all 3 test...

Products
RGB Combiners

RGB combiners from CASIX Inc. (Fuzhou, Fujian, China) combine the three fundamental colors (Red, Green and Blue) to produce the desired visible color output through the proper modulator (e.g. LCD, LCOS). It could be potentially used in display projection, laser TV, and mobile projection. RGB combiners are available for either S- or...

Products
Picosecond Laser

TRUMPF’s (Farmington, CT) has expanded its lineup of diode pumped disk lasers with the TruMicro 5250 compact picosecond (ps) laser. The ps-laser is based on disk technology and combines 6 ps pulses with a diffraction limited beam and high pulse-to-pulse stability starting with the first pulse. In addition, the ultra-short...

Products
Miniature M3-F Focus Module

New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY) has introduced its M3-F focus module for miniature OEM cameras used in handheld products; portable biometric sensors; targeting, surveillance and security systems; and medical diagnostic and imaging devices. At only 20 × 22 × 16 mm — about the same dimensions as a fixed lens...

Products
Fluorescence Imaging Filter Sets

Semrock (Rochester, NY) has released four new optical filter sets for fluorescence imaging which enable the choice of substantially increased brightness or enhanced contrast when imaging the fluorescent labels fluorescein (FITC) and green fluorescent protein (GFP). These new BrightLine® filter sets allow the...

Products
30-Die, Near-Infrared LED Array

Opto Diode Corporation (Newbury Park, CA) has developed the first in a series of high power LED arrays, the OD-850-30-030. The new 30- die near-infrared (NIR) LED array delivers more efficient operation and higher power with a narrow beam angle of 30 degrees. The device has a peak wavelength of 850nm (min. 840nm...

Products
Time Delay Integration Cameras

The C10000-601 and C10000-701 series TDI (time delay integration) cameras from Hamamatsu (Bridgewater, NJ) feature back-thinned CCD image sensors with 4096 horizontal pixels and 128 TDI stages (vertical pixels). Each pixel is 12 × 12 μm. Due to their back-thinned structure, the TDI-CCDs feature high sensitivity...

Products
Ultra-Low-Light Color Cameras

FLIR Systems (Wilsonville, OR) has launched its ChromaNox line of EMCCD low light security cameras. Incorporating advanced EMCCD (electron multiplied CCD) technology, the ChromaNox cameras are available in VGA (640 × 480) and SXGA (1280 × 1024) resolution, and in color and monochrome models. The cameras feature...

Products
Spectroscopy Software Module

A new add-on module for Ocean Optics’ (Dunedin, FL) SpectraSuite Spectrometer Operating Software allows users of the company’s miniature spectrometers and Jaz optical sensing systems to calculate Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), an important parameter for evaluating the effect of light on plant growth....

Products
Laser Beam Analysis Software

Ophir-Spiricon (Logan, UT) announced recently that Beam-Gage®, the company's next generation laser beam analysis software, now supports the XEVA InGaAs NIR Camera for demanding applications. XEVA delivers high sensitivity in the NIR spectrum (900-1700 nm) at room temperatures. A unique, non-uniformity correction...

Products
High-Power Polarization Beamsplitter Cubes

Dayoptics (Fuzhou, Fujian, China) manufactures high-power polarization beamsplitter cubes (PBS) based on optical bonding technology which can withstand >15J/cm2 @1064nm 20ns, 20Hz. The advantages are: epoxy free; high transmission (Tp>97%); high extinction ratio (>30dB); a variety of sizes (1mm to...

Products
High-Speed Color Cameras

DALSA Corporation (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) has launched a new series within its Genieô line of GigE Vision®-compliant cameras designed for high-speed color acquisition with uncompromised image quality. Three HC models are available: The Genie HC640 offers up to 300 fps in full resolution (640 x 480); the...

Products
Planet Configuration Direct Monitoring System

Leybold Optics (Cary, NC) is now offering direct monitoring on box coaters with planet (double rotation) configuration. Optical monitoring is used in optical thin film production, in addition to the conventional quartz crystal measurement. The monitor glass is located in a holder, which is fixed on...

Products
LADAR Distance Measurement System

Bridger Photonics (Bozeman, MT) has announced a new line of absolute distance measurement systems, called the SLM Series. These systems are capable of ultra-high resolution length and thickness measurements over both small and large stand-off distances. The fiber-based systems are capable of resolving multiple...

Products
LED Measurement System

Labsphere’s (North Sutton, NH) new thermal/optical/electrical LED Measurement Systems (TOCS) enables measurement of optical properties as a function of temperature and operating current using a single instrument. The TOCS complies with IESNA LM-79 and LM-80 standards, delivering accurate and reproducible LED...

Products
AOTF-NIR Analyzer

Brimrose (Sparks, MD) has developed a miniature high speed Process AOTF-NIR (Acousto-Optic Tunable Filter Near Infrared) Analyzer, 7030-IP55, that performs ON-LINE measurement with extreme accuracy. The rugged solid-state AOTF-NIR analyzer is based on diffused reflectance optics and can be integrated in a variety of different...

Products
Mil-Hardened InGaAs SWIR Video Camera

Goodrich Corporation’s ISR Systems Princeton team (formerly Sensors Unlimited) (Princeton, NJ) has introduced a high-sensitivity, mil-hardened, indium gallium arsenide (In-GaAs) shortwave infrared (SWIR) uncooled video camera for military imaging systems, covert surveillance and marine intelligence...