LiDAR System

Innovusion Inc., (Los Altos, CA) recently announced the availability of its Cheetah high-resolution, image-grade LiDAR system.

Based on its innovative rotating polygon optical architecture, Innovusion has melded together proprietary detector electronics, advanced optics and sophisticated software algorithms to offer a system for the long-distance, high-resolution LiDAR vehicle mobility system industry.

Key specifications of the Cheetah system include a screen resolution of 300 vertical pixels, while simultaneously maintaining a frame rate of 10 Hz. Picture-like resolution is achieved though its 0.13-degree resolution over its 40-degree vertical FOV, and 0.14-degree resolution over its 100-degree horizontal FOV. Because of the efficient rotating polygon architecture, Cheetah draws under 40W, making it the most energy efficient system of any high- performance LiDAR currently available. The Cheetah LiDAR platform is miniature and robust with the sensor head dimension measuring 112 mm (h) × 145 mm (w) × 105 mm (d), with a roadmap to substantially reduce the future footprint and formfactor.

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6MP Smart Camera

The JADAK (Syracuse, NY) Allegro In-Vitro Diagnostic 6MP Smart Camera is specifically designed to perform standard pre-analytical IVD tasks on a rack of vials. The Allegro IVD 6MP Smart Camera, along with Clarity 3.0 software, can accurately and precisely detect and screen diagnostic samples in a timely manner, thus eliminating waste by conducting tests on incomplete samples and reducing errors typically caused by manual processes.

The Allegro IVD 6MP Smart Camera includes FPGA capabilities, allowing parallel processing of machine vision tasks and onboard CPU. By capturing a high-quality image and executing multiple algorithms on the FPGA and onboard CPU without an additional processor, it will provide actionable data to the analyzer, improving speed, and reducing the errors and costs associated with manual processes.

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Piezo Motor Driven Linear Stages

MKS Instruments, Inc. (Andover, MA) recently introduced the Newport Super Agilis™ Open Loop Piezo Motor Driven Linear Stages and Drivers. The compact and low-cost linear stages come in three different sizes and are ideal for high precision linear positioning applications in research laboratories, microscopy and semiconductor manufacturing.

With speeds up to 10 mm/sec and a minimal incremental motion of 50 nm, Newport Super Agilis stages combine speed and sensitivity. All stages feature a width of 25 mm, a height of 12 mm, and are available in three different lengths with travel ranges of 16, 32 or 48 mm. The rigid, stainless steel, all-in-one design comes with integrated CONEX controller and mechanics. The new piezo stages can also be used vertically with a lifting force above 2N.

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Synchro/Resolver-to-Digital Converter

Data Device Corporation (DDC) (Bohemia, NY) has been selected by L3Harris Technologies to provide high reliability motion control Synchro/ Resolver-to-Digital (R/D) conversion components for use in the Telescope Control Electronics box to be installed on the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). NASA is designing WFIRST to settle essential questions in the areas of dark energy, exoplanets, and infrared astrophysics.

On board WFIRST will be DDC’s 16-Bit Monolithic tracking R/D converter, a low-cost, versatile, state-of-the-art single chip converter offering programmable features such as resolution, bandwidth and velocity output scaling. DDC’s reference oscillator, a quadrature power Sine oscillator with two outputs that are 90° out of phase providing both the reference and quadrature signals simultaneously, will also be deployed on WFIRST.

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Atomic Force Microscope Software

Oxford Instruments (Santa Barbara, CA) announced the launch of the new Ergo software platform for their Asylum Research atomic force microscopes (AFMs). Based on the AZtec software interface for Oxford Instruments electron microscope analyzers, Ergo improves the productivity of both infrequent and expert AFM users. A streamlined workflow guides users quickly from setup to data acquisition. Intelligent algorithms automatically calculate the optimal imaging settings to achieve consistent, high-quality images.

This first release of Ergo focuses on the most common AFM measurement made today—high resolution topographic images. Ergo enables high-quality topographic imaging with minimal user training and no need for manual optimization of imaging parameters. Ease of use and automation feature strongly throughout.

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Optical Mobile Local Communications System

Link Microtek (Hampshire, UK) has unveiled a new version of its Azdec optical MLC (mobile local communications) system featuring a range of up to 30 meters – three times greater than the capability of its established technology. This development opens up new defense-related applications for the Azdec system, which provides totally secure, non-RF, cable-free communications.

Originally developed using infrared technology to provide secure bridge communications on-board naval vessels, the Azdec system delivers crystal-clear voice communications using micro-LED arrays transmitting at a wavelength determined by the requirements of the specific application. The system carries a Class 1 product designation as defined by the EN 60825-1 standard, meaning it presents no ocular or other health hazard to users.

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High-Speed Image Sensor

ON Semiconductor (Phoenix, AZ) has announced the introduction of the ARX3A0 digital image sensor with 0.3-megapixel (MP) resolution in a 1:1 aspect ratio. With up to 360 frames per second (fps) capture rate, it can perform like a global shutter in many conditions but with the size, performance and responsivity benefits of being a Back-Side Illuminated (BSI) rolling shutter sensor. With its small size, square format and high frame rate, ARX3A0 is particularly suitable for emerging machine vision, artificial intelligence and AR/VR applications, as well as small supplemental security cameras.

The ARX3A0 consumes less than 19 mW when capturing images at 30 fps, and just 2.5 mW when capturing 1 fps. The 1/10-inch square format enables low height modules, while the miniature 3.5 mm die size helps maximize the sensor’s field of view. Its small size and square format mean the ARX3A0 can be used in emerging applications where orientation isn’t fixed but space is limited, such as AR/VR goggles to monitor the wearer’s eye movement. The monochrome sensor is based on a 560 by 560 active-pixel array featuring ON Semiconductor’s NIR+ technology, giving it high sensitivity at near IR wavelengths to deliver superior performance in no light or when lighting is used that is non-detectable by the human eye.

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2D/3D Skeleton Tracking Device

Framos AI GmbH (Taufkirchen, Germany), a member of the FRAMOS® Group, is launching its FAIM SDK to enable AI powered algorithms optimized for real-time applications. Skeleton tracking is the first functionality that is integrated into the Framos AI SDK, which enables efficient 2D/3D application development. With the SDK supported by artificial intelligence algorithms, it is possible to integrate 2D and 3D skeleton tracking in as little as 30 minutes. The software package is listed by Intel® as official software for the RealSense™ technology.

Effectively, the integration of 10 lines of code enables skeleton tracking from any image or video input. By providing a development environment in the customer’s programming language, using existing API-wrappers, FAIM SDK increases implementation convenience significantly. The skeleton tracking functionality is optimized for edge hardware and can be run on all main platforms such as Intel® CPUs and ASICs as well as Nvidia® GPUs. The Framos AI SDK is closely developed in cooperation with Intel®, leveraging the Intel® RealSense technology, which combines 2D and 3D vision in a single device.

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Triggering Systems

Specialised Imaging (Temecula CA) has announced new high-performance triggering systems that enable capture of high-quality images from ultra-fast events. Robustly designed, the highly reliable OT-3 Optical Trigger is proven on ballistic proofing ranges worldwide as both a flash detector to trigger cameras or tracker systems, and as a projectile "movement" detector when measuring velocity. The OT-3 employs an array of twelve diodes with a 700 nm cut-off filter to limit the spectral response range between 300 to 700 nm. This reduces the likelihood of saturatation from high IR sources, such as clouds, when being used as a vertically viewing “skyscreen” trigger. The OT-3 Optical trigger is battery powered.

To simplify a velocity measurement or projectile position detection the Specialised Imaging SST1 is a reliable optical "skyscreen" style trigger when used with an SI Tracker, Velocity trap or similar systems. Pressure waves from explosions or a projectile bow shock wave can be detected by the Specialised Imaging SI-AT1, which is a reliable and inherently robust acoustic trigger for high speed video cameras or rate of fire measurement.

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Cooled Thermal Camera

RP Optical Lab (Petach Tikva, Israel) recently launched its latest microCORE 250HD cooled high-resolution camera developed for use in various defense and homeland security applications. The lightweight camera has a × l6 continuous optical zoom and 1280 × 720 resolution with small 10μ pixel size that allows long viewing ranges. The microCORE 250HD features auto focus and delivers high-quality image processing. Ruggedized for use in harsh environments, it also offers open-frame and IP-sealed configurations.

RP Optical Lab also launched its ZENITH lens, a modular lens for HD 10μ sensors that features wide/long-range capabilities with the widest FOV (field of view) being 40 degrees at ZENITH400 and the narrowest being 0.7 degrees at ZENITH100. The ZENITH features a very high optical zoom ratio of × 22, with focus maintained throughout the entire zoom range.

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Photonics & Imaging Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2019 issue of Photonics & Imaging Technology Magazine.

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