Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines

WGM Resonators for Terahertz-to-Optical Frequency Conversion

Receivers containing these devices are contemplated for astronomical and military uses.

Progress has been made toward solving some practical problems in the implementation of terahertz-to-optical frequency converters utilizing whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) resonators. Such frequency converters are expected to be essential parts of non-cryogenic terahertz-radiation receivers that are, variously, under development or contemplated for a variety of applications in airborne and spaceborne instrumentation for astronomical and military uses.

Posted in: ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Briefs, Photonics, Aircraft instruments, Transistors, Aircraft instruments, Transistors, Radiation, Military vehicles and equipment, Spacecraft
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Temperature Sensors Based on WGM Optical Resonators

Differences between temperature-dependent frequencies of resonances would be measured.

A proposed technique for measuring temperature would exploit differences between the temperature dependences of the frequencies of two different electromagnetic modes of a whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) optical resonator. An apparatus based on this technique was originally intended to be part of a control system for stabilizing a laser frequency in the face of temperature fluctuations. When suitably calibrated, apparatuses based on this technique could also serve as precise temperature sensors for purposes other than stabilization of lasers.

Posted in: ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Briefs, Photonics, Architecture, Lasers, Sensors and actuators, Architecture, Lasers, Sensors and actuators, Product development
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Four-Pass Coupler for Laser-Diode-Pumped Solid-State Laser

A smaller laser slab can be made to perform comparably to a larger one.

A four-pass optical coupler affords increased (in comparison with related prior two-pass optical couplers) utilization of light generated by a laser diode in side pumping of a solid-state laser slab. The original application for which this coupler was conceived involves a neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) crystal slab, which, when pumped by a row of laser diodes at a wavelength of 809 nm, lases at a wavelength of 1,064 nm.

Posted in: ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Briefs, Photonics, Amplifiers, Lasers, Amplifiers, Lasers, Product development, Radiation
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Varying the Divergence of Multiple Parallel Laser Beams

Lenses mode-matched to the laser beams would be moved axially within an afocal optical subassembly.

A provision for controlled variation of the divergence of a laser beam or of multiple parallel laser beams has been incorporated into the design of a conceptual free-space optical-communication station from which the transmitted laser beam(s) would be launched via a telescope. The original purpose to be served by this provision was to enable optimization, under various atmospheric optical conditions, of the divergence of a laser beam or beams transmitted from a ground station to a spacecraft. Beyond the original purpose, the underlying design concept could be beneficial for terrestrial free-space laser communication, ranging, and scientific instrumentation applications in which there are requirements to vary the divergences of laser beams.

Posted in: ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Briefs, Photonics, Optimization, Lasers, Optics, Waveguides, Wireless communication systems, Lasers, Optics, Waveguides, Wireless communication systems
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Low-Resolution Raman-Spectroscopy Combustion Thermometry

This method offers advantages over related prior Raman-spectroscopy-based methods.

A method of optical thermometry, now undergoing development, involves low-resolution measurement of the spectrum of spontaneous Raman scattering (SRS) from N2 and O2 molecules. The method is especially suitable for measuring temperatures in high-pressure combustion environments that contain N2, O2, or N2/O2 mixtures (including air).

Posted in: ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Briefs, Photonics, Measurements, Spectroscopy, Spectroscopy, Combustion and combustion processes
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DUV-VIS Light Source

The EQ-1000 LDLSTM Laser-Driven Light Source from Energetiq Technology, Inc. (Woburn, MA) achieves extreme high brightness and power over a broad spectral range, from 170nm to beyond visible. The EQ-1000 can be configured for broad spectrum output in spectroscopy, optics testing, biological imaging, and general scientific research. The user can, through using the standard optical output interface, select narrow bands of light for specific applications. The fully integrated EQ-1000 provides broadband spectral optical output from a flexible optical interface.

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LED Backlighting

DDP (El Segundo, CA) has designed an LED backlighting solution that is compliant with night vision imaging system (NVIS) devices for aviation and military applications. The assembly uses two SMT LEDs to create a 28VDC PCB array that offers a true NVIS compatible Green Class A light source. The color combination provides the ideal mix of light for high and low ambient conditions. DDP LED solutions are available in standard or custom assemblies. The resulting device offers 50,000 hours of life.

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Ti:Sapphire Oscillator

High Q Laser (Bregenz, Austria) has released a femtosecond light source for multi-photon microscopy. The “femtoTRAIN IMAGING” is a compact, all-in-one, all-diode-pumped, Ti:Sapphire oscillator. The “femtoTRAIN IMAGING” offers light pulses with a duration of 100 fs at an average power of 200 mW. Its pulse width is optimized for minimal broadening in multi-photon microscope systems, and it is available at fixed center wavelengths of 790, 810, 850, or 870 nm. The “femtoTRAIN IMAGING” has a footprint of 53 cm by 20 cm.

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Glass Molding Press

The Glass Press (GP) from Dyna Technologies Inc. (Sanford, FL) is a fully enclosed, compact press designed for precision compression molding of optical elements. Applications include manufacturing of aspheric lenses, microfluidics, and array lenses. The press incorporates a vacuum and inert gas purging system for controlled environment processing. Programmable feedback controls provide high precision position, force, heating and cooling profiles throughout the molding process. The GP-5000 model utilizes a precision electric actuator capable of delivering up to 500 lbs. of thrust.

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Optical Tweezing Fiber Laser

Manlight (Lannion, France) and RPMC (O’Fallon, MO) have released a new fiber based OTS (Optical Tweezing Source) that features a narrow linewidth. The new OTS is a compact CW fiber laser that delivers output powers up to 20W with a near diffraction limited beam (M2

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