1x4 Pulsed Laser Diode Array

Excelitas Technologies® Corp. (Waltham, MA) has introduced a 1x4 Pulsed Laser Diode Array for LiDAR applications. The new laser array combines Excelitas’ high-efficiency, multi-cavity laser chip technology with small form-factor surface mount device (SMD) packaging for applications requiring high reliability, such as autonomous vehicles and drones.

Unlike single-pixel lasers, the 1x4 linear configuration enables each pixel to be situated in very close proximity to its neighbor - minimizing space requirements and supporting the use of smaller, less costly optical components. Each laser pixel can have up to four emitting stripes, allowing very high per-channel optical power levels in excess of 85 W for long-range detection with minimal power consumption.

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Microscopy Cameras

Basler AG (Exton, PA/Ahrensburg, Germany) now supplements its PowerPacks for Microscopy with additional Microscopy ace camera models. The Microscopy ace 3.2 MP and Microscopy ace 5.1 MP, equipped with Sony's high-quality Pregius sensors, provide up to 55 images per second. The Microscopy ace 1.3 MP 160 and Microscopy ace 1.3 MP 200, using ON Semiconductor sensors, reach a resolution of 1.3 MP at up to 200 images per second.

All Basler PowerPacks for Microscopy now include a sharpening feature to optimize the image for depth of focus. White balance capabilities have been improved to make the white color appear more pure and radiant. Each microscopy camera comes with a USB 3.0 cable, installation guide, and professional microscopy software.

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LCD User Interface

LCDTERM.com (Lake Zurich, IL) announced the launch of its new programming-free LCD User Interface, which enables seamless and code-free integration onto any Embedded platform, eliminating the need to write software to control the display. The product's 3-button keyboard allows developers to implement a full UI without having to worry about reading buttons, de-bouncing, or programming resources on their host embedded system.

The LCDTERM interface includes all control firmware onboard, utilizes a speedy ARM M0 processor, and comes with free API. Included fonts and user-defined bitmaps allow for addition of 64K color displays to any embedded system. Display sizes begin at 1.77" with larger sizes of 2.8" and 5".

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High-Speed Camera

Vision Research (Wayne, NJ) has released the Phantom® Flex4K-GS, a high-speed camera with a 35-mm, 9.4-megapixel sensor and global shutter. The Flex4K-GS employs a custom sensor capable of recording 1,000 frames per second (fps) at 4K resolution. The camera's global shutter ensures that every pixel is exposed to light at the exact same moment in time, preventing motion artifacts and ensuring timing precision throughout the entirety of each frame. Isolated electronics and a thermal design allow an operating temperature range from -20 °C to 50 °C.

The Flex4K-GS is available with either 64GB or 128GB of RAM. Additionally, uncompressed raw or compressed video can be saved in the Apple ProRes 422 HQ video format. When working with ProRes, a 2TB CineMag-IV will hold several hours’ worth of footage. Other features include 5 μs minimum exposure; 3G-SDI video outputs; and Dual-SDI mode for simultaneous live video and playback.

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Long-Body LED Indicators

Wilbrecht LEDCO, Inc. (St. Paul, MN), a Microprecision Electronics company, has introduced a new long-body nickel-plated panel mount LED. The housing is designed to easily fit panel thicknesses of up to 9.0 mm even with additional gasket. The front-mounted prominent and recessed bezel shaped forms come with termination options leads or Faston-style quick connects. The fully potted leads version with additional gasket offers front and backside IP67 sealing for water resistance and outdoor use.

All versions are available in a broad range of colors and intensities, including daylight-readable red, yellow, green, orange as well as bicolor, blue, white, flashing, infrared, and night-vision-compatible LEDs. They can be supplied with an additional built-in resistor for voltages up to 48 VDC.

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Industrial Cameras

The Imaging Source (Charlotte, NC) has introduced a 42-megapixel industrial camera featuring a USB 3.0 interface. At 42-megapixel resolution, the camera achieves an image rate of 7 frames per second; 110 frames per second can be captured at 2 megapixels (full HD). Available as either C/CS mount or with integrated autofocus optics, the 36 x 36 x 26 mm camera features a robust housing, a 1D and 2D barcode software development kit (SDK), and software for on-screen measurement and image acquisition. Cameras are shipped with drivers for LabView, HALCON, MERLIC, VisionPro, DirectX, Twain, and NeuroCheck. All parameters and settings can be set via software.

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CRAIC Technologies (San Dimas, CA) announced availability of the 308 PV™, a UV-visible-NIR spectrophotometer for your microscope. The 308 Perfect Vision™ is designed to be added to an open photoport of a microscope or probe station so that you can non-destructively analyze the spectra of many types of microscopic samples.

Featuring CRAIC Technologies’ Lightblades™ spectrophotometers and proprietary optical interface technologies, the 308 PV can acquire spectra of microscopic sample areas by absorbance, reflectance, polarization, luminescence, and fluorescence, in addition to high-resolution color images, when attached to properly configured microscopes.

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Thermal Cameras

New Exx-Series advanced thermal imaging cameras from FLIR Systems (Wilsonville, OR) feature interchangeable lenses, laser-assisted autofocus modes, higher resolutions, and a larger, brighter touchscreen.

The FLIR E75, E85, and E95 cameras automatically recognize and calibrate the intelligent lenses, eliminating the need for manual calibration. For the FLIR E85 and E95 models, on-screen area measurement is provided in square feet or meters. The FLIR E85 and E95 models additionally offer increased thermal detector resolutions with up to 464 x 348 (161,472 pixels), and measure temperatures up to 1,500 °C.

The Exx-Series cameras also include a rugged, water-resistant design and scratch-resistant Dragontrail™ cover glass over an optically-bonded, projected capacitive (PCAP) touchscreen. Each product's display is 33 percent brighter and 30 percent larger than previous cameras.

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Infrared Camera

Sierra-Olympic Technologies (Hood River, OR) has released the Viento HD Lab, a longwave-infrared (LWIR) camera with high-definition (HD) imaging. The Viento HD camera, based upon a 1920 x 1200 x 12 μm uncooled sensor, includes a 24-mm F1.1 athermalized, custom-designed optic and HD camera housing with conductive cooling. The system delivers 16-bit, full-dynamic-range digital data, or digital data with automatic gain control (AGC). Controlled via USB, the uncooled camera offers LWIR imagery at 30 Hz frame rate and thermal sensitivity at 30 mK NETD at F1.0. The digital acquisition system includes a configured frame grabber for full frame rate, full bit depth acquisition, and display.

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Spectroscopy-Enabled Detectors

Andor Technology Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Ireland), an Oxford Instruments company, offers an ultrafast Spectroscopy Mode on its Zyla and iStar scientific CMOS (sCMOS) platforms. On-head camera intelligence provides high dynamic range, fully user-configurable, binned single-spectrum or multiple (multi-track) spectra. A 32-bit data transmission mode also preserves the signal dynamic range in extensive spectroscopy binning scenarios.

The Zyla "Spectroscopy" Mode provides spectral rates up to 27,057 samples per second (sps), with 10s of microsecond time-resolution. A multi-track mode offers up to 6,000 acquisitions per second. The iStar features spectral rates up to 4,000 sps, with nanosecond time-resolution.

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High-Speed Camera

Teledyne DALSA (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), a Teledyne Technologies company, has announced a new model to its Genie™ Nano GigE Vision camera series. Built around the 18-Megapixel ON Semiconductor® AR1820HS, a backside illuminated (BSI) image sensor, the Genie Nano C4900 camera delivers a rolling shutter and low-light performance as a result of its 1/2.3-inch format, 1.25-μm, active-pixel digital imager.

Genie Nano cameras combine standard gigabit Ethernet technology (supporting GigE Vision 1.2) with Teledyne DALSA's Trigger-to-Image-Reliability framework to capture and transfer images from the camera to the host PC. The products are available in a number of models implementing different sensors, image resolutions, and feature sets, in monochrome or color versions. Additional capabilities of the 44 x 29 x 21mm camera include active resolution of 4912 x 3684 pixels; temperature range of -20 to 60 °C; and Linux support.

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Motorized Zoom Beam Expanders

Special Optics (Denville, NJ) has developed motorized versions of their zoom beam expanders that combine their proprietary five-lens element optical designs from their manual zoom beam expanders with built-in adjustment motors for controlling lens groups. With their motorized systems, both expansion ratio and focus can be controlled independently from a remote location via controller electronics and software running on the Windows platform or C++.

Beam wander is critical in any zoom lens so Special Optics employs a proprietary "rail" design which allows for minimal beam wander while maintaining diffraction limited performance over the entire expansion range. Custom designs have been built, which produce wander of less than 0.1 mrad.

Variable magnification levels can automatically be set ranging from 1x-4x.

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High Power Varistor

Littelfuse, Inc. (Chicago, IL) introduced its first varistor series designed for high power applications that can operate at ambient temperatures up to 125 °C with 2500V isolation voltage. The HMOV™ Varistor Series’ high operating temperature is an advance made possible through the use of a new silicone coating technology. Competitive epoxy-coated varistor designs are typically limited to maximum temperatures of just 85 °C.

In addition to high operating temperature characteristics, the HMOV Varistor features high surge current absorption of up to 10kA (8/20μs), reliability confirmed by a 1000-cycle thermal stress test, and high isolation voltage (2500V). The series is available in disc diameters of 10 mm, 14 mm, and 20 mm.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the May, 2017 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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