795 nm DFB Laser Diode

eagleyard Photonics GmbH (Berlin, Germany) completes its offering for rubidium spectroscopy/optically pumped atomic clocks with its release of a new 795 nm DFB laser. Next to the 780 nm DFB lasers and the gain chips for extended cavity setups (ECDL) the new laser enlarges the choice for rubidium spectroscopy and related applications such as optically pumped atomic clocks.

The 14-Pin butterfly package adds ready-to-use single-frequency-emission features by comprising thermoelectric cooler and thermistor enabling precise wavelength tuning.

Major performance parameters are: wavelength 795 nm (for Rb D1 line at 794.98 nm); line width < 1 MHz; mode-hop-free tuning range >10 GHz; output power of 80 mW; 14-Pin win-dowed butterfly package with integrated beam collimation; and the availability of optional integrated micro-isolators.

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EMCCD Camera Platform

Andor Technology (Belfast, Northern Ireland) has announced the ultrasensitive iXon Life Electron Multiplying CCD (EMCCD) camera platform, designed for fluorescence microscopy, single molecule biophysics, and low-light live cell microscopy. It features single photon sensitive, back-illuminated, EMCCD technology. According to the manufacturer, its price is in the bracket normally associated with lower cost back-illuminated sCMOS technology.

Available in 1024 × 1024 and 512 × 512 sensor formats, it is deep cooled down to -80°C for minimal dark current. It enables the use of low excitation power while maintaining a good signal-to-noise ratio, thus minimizing phototoxic effects. The platform is designed to harness the limited photon budget from dynamic, individual fluorescent molecules, while also avoiding photobleaching.

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Lens System Centering Measurement System

The OptiCentric® Linear PRO centering measurement system from TRIOPTICS GmbH (Wedel, Germany) can determine the centering of lens systems without rotating the sample. An entire series of lens systems can be positioned on a 150 mm x 150 mm tray and checked in one measurement step. Rotation-free measurement takes approximately 6.5 seconds for the centering test of a doublet, which is ideal for production applications.

The system uses a high-precision linear axis that serves as a reference. Very small remaining errors are measured and used to create a correction factor so the software can generate the exact value — resulting in a measurement accuracy of less than 1 μm for lens centering errors.

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Smartphone Imaging Technology

Corephotonics (Tel Aviv, Israel), in partnership with Samsung Electro-Mechanics, has developed a reference design based on its dual camera technology. Benefits include enhancements of image quality without impacting the slim design. Corephotonics’ dual camera concept offers smartphone manufacturers better zoom, increased effective resolution, and broader dynamic range. One camera produces a wide field of view (FOV) image and a second features a telephoto lens. The imaging mechanism can deliver up to 3x optical zoom and provides highly detailed photographs even in the most challenging of low light conditions. The combination of these modules with Corephotonics’ zoom and bokeh algorithms is designed to provide significantly enhanced performance.

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Ultra-Compact HD Zoom Lens

The Z10-HD zoom lens from Resolve Optics Ltd. (Chesham Bucks, UK) is designed for machine vision, broadcast TV, and CCTV applications that require quality high definition images. According to the manufacturer, the motorized 10x HD zoom lens is typically less than half the size and much lighter than comparable zoom lenses. The lens has a close focus of 450 mm enhanced through the use of low dispersion glass. The zoom and focus movements on the Z10-HD utilize floating cell technology to produce a smooth, light movement throughout the zoom range.

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Board Level Camera

Basler (Ahrensburg, Germany) announces production of its dart board level cameras for connection via Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS)-based vision technologies. Developed for use in embedded systems applications, its LVDS interface supports high-speed data transmission. Although designed for minimum cost, the cameras come with resolution of up to 5 megapixels and S-mount, CS-mount, and bare board mount options.

Basler is also launching its PowerPack for Embedded Vision development kit, comprised of a dart camera module with the BCON for LVDS interface and 5 megapixels of resolution, a lens, and a processing board with Xilinx Zynq®-7010 SoC (System-on-Chip). The kit also contains hardware and software reference implementations to demonstrate FPGA-based image capture by the Zynq SoC.

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Handheld Spectroradiometer/Flicker Meter

The new Gamma Scientific (San Diego, CA) GS-1160 features a powerful suite of capabilities for display designers, manufacturers, and engineers. Specifically, the instrument is about the size of an iPhone 7 Plus (220 mm x 81 mm x 33 mm) and only weighs 330g with its integral battery and is suitable for color and intensity measurement of all display types including LCD, LED, OLED, and Quantum Dot displays.

In addition, the GS-1160 delivers key display measurement capabilities for Color Chromaticity, Gamma, White Balance Adjustment, Contrast, Flicker (VESA & JEITA), and Uniformity from 0.05 to 5,000 cd/m2, with a wide range of Flicker Measurement, JEITA, VESA, CONTRAST (Max/Min), RMS, Time Domain, FFT and automatic dark calibration.

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Ultra-Fast Framing Cameras

The SIM series of Ultra-Fast Framing cameras from Specialised Imaging (Pitstone, UK) are capable of capturing up to 16 images at 1 billion frames per second, meaning they can capture visual data from even the most transient of phenomena. The proprietary optical design of SIM cameras eliminates compromising shading or parallax effects. High resolution intensified CCD sensors controlled by state-of-the-art electronics provide almost infinite control over gain and exposure to allow researchers the flexibility to obtain reproducible data from even the most demanding applications.

With all Specialised Imaging SIM cameras, full remote control using Ethernet is offered as standard. A choice of integral viewfinder or a laptop computer can be used for local focus. All SIM cameras can now be used in multispectral imaging experiments using specific notch filters from 400 nm up to 800 nm as a per channel configuration. This allows for true multispectral and color imaging as well as pyrometry measurement.

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Brushless PM Motors

ThinGap (Camarillo,CA) has developed the first member of a new motor family of very high performance and extremely high peak torque density brushless PM motors reaching over 20 nm/kg. The frameless LSI 105 torque motor model is 105 mm OD (4.125 inches) 25.4 mm (1.0 inch) long. Continuous torque reaches over 2 nm (283 oz-in) in typical applications.

The LSI 105 torque motor exhibits very low torque ripple (less than -1%) and zero cogging. The efficient potted winding and thermally conductive structure offers superior heat transfer in enclosed places and works very well with active cooling systems such as cooling loops or oil filled assemblies. Applications range from peak high torque servo and propulsion systems to lightweight, precision-tracking such as beam steering and LIDAR.

Adjusting windings are available that cover common bus voltages and speed requirements.

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Smart WiDy SWIR Camera

New Imaging Technologies (Montpellier, France) has released a new GiGE ouptut version of its WiDy SWIR 640G-S camera. Offering small size, low weight, and power consumption, the WiDy SWIR 640G-S offers: VGA 640 x 512 pixels (15μm pitch) images, with 140dB in the 0.9 to 1.7 microns’ spectral band, CMOS Logarithmic response, Global mode, and 100 Hz frame rate. Featuring onboard image processing including NUC & AGC, this camera is well-suited for industrial processes and machine vision applications.

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Full HD 1080p IP67 Thermal Imager

The new Viento HD IP67 from Sierra-Olympic Technologies (Hood River, OR) is a full HD 1080p thermal camera with an IP67 environmentally-rated enclosure that protects against dust and the effects of water immersion for depths up to 1 meter. It delivers true 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution utilizing an uncooled vanadium oxide (VOx) sensor with a capacity of over 2.3 million pixels on a 12-micron pixel pitch. The system includes integrated image enhancement functions and a 24 mm F1.1 athermalized custom-designed optic. A hard carbon-coated 24 mm fixed focal length lens is available. It delivers LWIR imagery at a 30-Hz frame rate. Thermal sensitivity at 30 mK NETD at F1.0 is also available.

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Piezo Nanopositioning Stage

Aerotech's (Pittsburgh, PA) QFOCUS® QF-50 piezo nanopositioning stage offers 400 μm closed loop and 450 μm open loop travel, high speed, 0.01% linearity, sub-nanometer resolution, and 4 nm bidirectional repeatability. The QF-50 accommodates optical instruments and next-generation laser micromachining applications. Due to a high-stiffness mechanical design, the QF-50 can outperform competitive piezo scanner offerings with larger, higher numerical aperture (NA) objectives. The QF-50 is ideal for optical positioning applications requiring high precision and throughput coupled with long travels.

When coupled with Aerotech's Q-series controllers and drives, the QF-50 demonstrates sub-nanometer positioning resolution and in-position stability (jitter) while maintaining high positioning bandwidth. Advanced software options, such as Dynamic Controls Toolbox and Motion Designer, provide a variety of highly-effective, easy-to-use tools including Iterative Learning Control, Harmonic Cancellation, and Command Shaping, providing improved tracking errors and faster step-and-settle times. OEM drive options are also available.

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Low-Light EMCCD Image Sensors

The new Interline Transfer Electron Multiplication CCD (IT-EMCCD) image sensors from ON Semiconductor (Phoenix, AZ) combine two established imaging technologies with an output structure that enables a new class of low-noise, high dynamic range imaging. While IT-EMCCDs provide excellent image quality and uniformity, the technology is not always ideal for very low-light imaging. EMCCD image sensors on the other hand excel under low-light conditions, but they historically have only been available as low resolution devices with limited dynamic range.

Combining these technologies allows the low-noise architecture of EMCCD to be extended to multi-megapixel resolutions. The output design allows both standard CCD (normal-gain) and EMCCD (high-gain) outputs to be utilized for a single image capture — extending dynamic range and scene detection from sunlight to starlight in a single image.

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Electro-Optical Test Systems

Santa Barbara Infrared, Inc. (Santa Barbara, CA), manufacturer of infrared and Electro-Optical (E-O) test hardware for aerospace and defense, has partnered with Labsphere, Inc. (North Sutton, NH) to provide a family of E-O test systems. The COLOSUS™ systems, which include collimated optics, software, and uniform sources, are complete test solutions for optical characterization of sensors and cameras, offering both collimated and flood-mode test configurations. Integrating spheres, black bodies, collimators, target wheels, system peripherals, and traceable calibration data are combined and controlled by the IRWindows4™ automated test software package to provide a single, easy-to-use testing method for each of the new systems in the product series.

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High-Speed Thermal Cameras

Two high-speed cameras introduced by FLIR (Wilsonville, OR) feature strained layer superlattice (SLS) detectors filtered for long-wave infrared. Integration times are more than 12 times faster than their midwave counterparts and include remote triggering and precise synchronization.

The X6900sc SLS captures full-frame 640 x 512 thermal images at 1004 frames per second at temperatures up to 3000°C and can stop motion on high-speed events. The accompanying FLIR DVIR™ removable storage device saves up to 26 seconds of data to on-camera RAM.

The X8500sc SLS records up to 181 frames per second of full 1280 x 1024 HD thermal imagery. Its FLIR DVIR saves up to 36 seconds of data to on-camera RAM at temperatures up to 3000°C. It streams high-speed, 14-bit data simultaneously over Gigabit Ethernet, Camera Link, and CoaXpress.

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Optical Fiber

An important challenge for fiber optic data transmission is to maintain low cost-per-bit when connecting cloud datacenters. OFS (Norcross, GA) is introducing its TeraWave™ ULL Optical Fiber, to support Nokia's 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) ultra-wideband C+L-band DWDM system. The Nokia networking platform achieves long haul performance at 200G using the 8QAM modulation format. The OFS cable reduces amplifier noise because of its low nominal loss of 0.168 dB/km and minimizes nonlinear distortion because of its large effective area of 125 microns2. The system can substantially reduce the cost of data transmission between web-scale data centers as much as 4000 km apart, by eliminating the need for regeneration to meet reach targets.

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Video-Rate Atomic Force Microscope

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research (Santa Barbara, CA) announces the new Cypher VRS Video-Rate Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), which can image dynamic events up to 625 lines/second, corresponding to about 10 frames/second. Applications include researching dynamic nano-events such as biochemical reactions and membrane studies. Users can easily switch between video-rate scanning and conventional scan speeds by swapping out the modular fast-Z stage. The AFM is also compatible with the complete range of Cypher ES environmental accessories, which enable experiments with heating, cooling, and gas or liquid perfusion. The scanner is fully sealed and comes with motorized laser and detector alignment for easy setup. The imaging controls are accessed through a simple software interface.

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Image Analysis Software

Bitplane (Belfast, Northern Ireland), an Oxford Instruments Company, launched the newest release of Imaris, version 9.0, with an introductory webinar demonstrating the new Billion Triangle Surface model for handling extremely large scientific images. The improvements in file handling and processing speed permit the creation of surfaces from images that were previously impossible to analyze. In addition, Imaris 9.0 uses a unique method to provide smooth rendering and interaction of surfaces created from files hundreds of gigabytes in size. This technology allows Imaris to render massive surfaces that are defined by billions of triangles.

Other features of this release include enhancements to Imaris’ Volume rendering: automatic adjustments, greater control of opacity settings, new rendering style and fast saving of display adjustment changes. The release also contains ease-of-use improvements for administrators, new file readers (SVS, NDPI, and high-resolution exports of lineage tree plots.

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Photonics & Imaging Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the September, 2017 issue of Photonics & Imaging Technology Magazine.

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