High-Energy UV lamp

McPherson, Inc. (Chelmsford, MA) introduces the flow-controlled windowless, hollow cathode UV lamp Model 629. This broad-spectrum source emits ionized gas emission lines with little or no absorption by neutral gas. Computer controlled gas flow and constant current power supply improve stability.

The lamp produces excited atoms and ions that emit electromagnetic radiation at wavelengths characteristic of the gas flowing through the system, similarly to inductively coupled plasma (ICP) atomic emission spectroscopy systems. Mirrors can reflect the light to an analytical optical system, a spectrometer, or spectrophotometer. Since there is no limiting window, this UV source works in the more energetic range of wavelengths from double ionized Helium at 30 nanometers up to the visible light range (2 to 40 eV). Molecules of sample media emit radiation at characteristic “fingerprint” wavelengths of the elements involved and the relative intensity of emission indicates concentration of the element within the sample.

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High Power Nanosecond Lasers

High-power ultraviolet (355 nm) and green (532 nm) additions to the Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) AVIA industrial nanosecond laser family can improve the performance of microprocessing applications. The AVIA 355-55 features a 150 kHz pulse repetition rate, resulting in an average power of 55 watts at 355 nm. The AVIA 532-80 produces 1 millijoule pulse energy, which, together with a maximum pulse repetition rate of 80 kHz, translates into an average power of 80 watts.

These lasers are used for cutting flex substrates and thin printed circuit boards where high lateral resolution is a critical consideration. The higher power will extend cutting capabilities to >200-μm flex and multi-layer materials. It will also enable existing applications to be accelerated to higher throughputs, without affecting edge quality and with minimal peripheral thermal damage. The high pulse energy improves the piercing capabilities for drilling, cutting, and scribing deeper features, and thicker substrates.

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Microscopy Camera

Andor Technology (Belfast, Northern Ireland), has announced a new “super-resolution” (SRRF-Stream) microscopy technology, available on its single photon sensitive iXon EMCCD cameras. It can be used with most modern microscopes, with conventional fluorophores at low illumination intensities, thus making it highly compatible with live cell imaging. A resolution improvement from 2- to 6-fold (50-150nm final resolution) can be expected for most datasets.

GPU processing optimization techniques are employed to execute the recently developed SRRF algorithm up to 30x faster than the existing image-based post processing implementation of SRRF. This enables data acquisition and SRRF processing to operate in parallel to process the super-resolution large field-of-view images faster than the camera can acquire data. An EMCCD full field of view super-resolved image can be generated at rates of > 1 Hz, or up to > 10 Hz by using smaller ROI sizes.

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Solid-State Light Source Driver/Controller

Innovations in Optics, Inc. (Woburn, MA) introduces the 5500A Solid-State Source Driver/Controller to independently drive, control and modulate as many as 18 different solid-state sources, including combinations of LEDs, LDs, or IR VCSEL arrays. It provides precise, independent, constant current control up to 3A per source channel. Its ground-based design is configured for common cathode LED or LD devices, which allows for multiple channels to be run in parallel for a combined current of up to 54A.

The independent current control to each UV-LED is designed to achieve optimal performance and lifetime by maintaing uniform current density through the entire LED array. Constant current, is selectable from 0A to 3A per channel with 10-bit resolution at a maximum compliance voltage of 6.0 VDC in continuous or pulsed mode, to a minimum pulse width <20 microseconds and a maximum 15 kHz rep. rate.

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Time-of-Flight Chipset

Melexis (Tessenderlo, Belgium) is introducing a new Time-of-Flight (ToF) chipset and development kit that enables simple, modular design of 3D vision solutions. It includes the MLX75023 1/3-inch optical format ToF sensor and the MLX75123 companion IC that embeds many of the external components normally required to develop a 3D vision solution. With this high level of integration, designers don't have to be concerned with external FPGAs and ADCs, thereby reducing size, design cost, product cost, and time-to-market.

According to the manufacturer, it offers the world's smallest pixel at QVGA resolution with 63 dB linear dynamic range and sunlight robustness. The companion chip directly interfaces the sensor IC to a host MCU and provides rapid readout of data from the sensor. It is available in automotive grade (-40°C to +105°C) for applications like occupant detection, and industrial grade (-20°C to +85°C).

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Thermal Imaging Camera

FLIR Systems, Inc. (Wilsonville, OR) has announced the FLIR ETS320 thermal imaging solution for electronics testing in engineering benchtop environments. It combines a high-sensitivity thermal camera – engineered for imaging PCBs and other electronics – with an adjustable, hands-free table stand to provide consistent, non-contact thermal testing through the entire electronics design, development, and production process. By offering more than 76,000 points of temperature measurement, it has the ability to monitor power consumption, detect hot spots, and identify potential points of failure during product development. The camera's high measurement accuracy and its ability to visualize small temperature differences helps evaluate thermal performance, ensure environmental compatibility, and troubleshoot problems for a wide range of electronic products.

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Smart Camera

The EyeCheck EC9000 camera series from EVT (Karlsruhe, Germany) comes preloaded with EyeVision image processing software, and can be upgraded to the Professional version.

The standard camera sensor is a gray-scale CMOS matrix. Options include color sensors, line scan, and thermal imaging sensors. Xilinx SDK for programming FPGAs is also included. There are eight I/Os, including GigE, RS232, and LVDS interfaces, and optionally USB 2.0. The camera comes with an M12 connector and has an IP65 rating. It also includes a mini-PCI-Express card and 2 x Micro-USB connectors.

The integrated EyeVision software offers a graphical, ready-to-use user interface and also a variety of libraries for C/C++ programming. Therefore the camera combines plug-and-play features with versatile programming possibilities.

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Line Scan Cameras for Optical Coherence Tomography

The new OctoPlus line scan cameras from Teledyne e2v, (Milpitas CA), have been developed for Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) applications in healthcare and industrial markets.

Based on new image sensor pixel architecture, it is specifically tuned to provide users with accurate images of the retina and cornea: mapping tissue structure, measuring thickness, and visualising blood flow dynamics for diagnostics. OctoPlus will more than double the eye surface captured in a single scan without sacrificing resolution. Its field of view is 250 percent larger than the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved commercial Swept Source OCT (SS-OCT) and it has a +5dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In addition, it saves 60 percent of the power used by previous designs, thereby reducing heat generation, improving stability and increasing maintenance intervals.

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Video Management Software

OnSSI (Pearl River, NY) is releasing Ocularis version 5.4, the latest version of the company's industry Video Management Software (VMS). New features include support for H.265 compression and increased SQL server flexibility.

Mobile enhancements include ability to send video directly to Ocularis via cell phone or tablet; “one tap” capture of JPEG images for sharing of snapshots; trigger capability to move a PTZ camera, release a door, initiate an alarm, or turn on lights; alert/event badge counter. Web enhancements include triggers for individual and global cameras and sharing of AVI exports via a direct link.

The three available models are: Professional, for organizations operating multiple locations with small to mid-sized camera counts; Enterprise, for a wide range of mid to large IT-centric organizations; and Ultimate, for large organizations with extended command and control needs.

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Pyroelectric Detectors

Laser Components (Bedford, NH) is introducing the LD2100 series pyroelectric detector, with differential outputs. This is advantageous since pyroelectric crystals simultaneously generate positive and negative charges on opposite faces. The detector not only gives you double the signal compared to a single-ended detector when used with a differential amplifier, but the noise only increases by √2, which produces an improvement in signal to noise ratio of around 1.4. In addition, since differential inputs cancel out external common-mode noise signals, they are well suited for critical environments. And wiring is simplified, since the signal outputs can be connected directly to the inputs of a differential AD converter.

Pyroelectric detectors are used in NDIR and FTIR spectroscopy, IR laser-based measurement technology, pyrometry, and flame and fire detection. They are highly sensitive as thermal detectors from short to long IR wavelengths.

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Photonics & Imaging Technology Magazine

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

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