Tech Briefs

Photonics & Imaging

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on photonics and imaging, from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Briefs: Imaging
Kodiak 3D LiDAR
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Latest Tech Briefs

This rapid and cost-effective technique yields a uniform etched surface with 99.5 percent emissivity.
The material could enable cheaper and more environmentally friendly displays and large-area lighting.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Compact Infrared Spectrometer
This device fits on a computer chip but can analyze infrared light in the same way as a conventional spectrometer.

Rectennas convert electromagnetic fields at optical frequencies directly to electrical current. Optical rectennas operate by coupling light’s electromagnetic field to an...

This system treats light-responsive disorders or deficits such as eating disorders, sleep problems, hormone-sensitive cancers, and cardiovascular disorders.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Sensitive Optical Receivers for Space
This concept could help break through the present-day data-return bottleneck in deep space missions.
Compared to a LED, the omnidirectional laser light is much brighter and better defined.
A smart fiber being tested on the International Space Station could be used to develop space dust telescopes and allow astronauts to feel through their pressurized suits.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Sensing Magnetic Fields
Applications include detection of explosives, navigation, and aerospace altitude sensing.
A stretchable system can harvest energy from human breathing and motion.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Split-Ring Torque Sensor
This optical-based device measures position, velocity, and torque.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Next-Generation Computer Chip Has Two Heads
The chip combines two functions — logic operations and data storage — into a single architecture, paving the way to more efficient devices.
The system turns faces into thermostats, providing more comfort with less energy.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Handheld Device Diagnoses Skin Cancer
The device could reduce the need for painful biopsies by 50 percent.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Photonic Wireless System Powers Medical Implants
The system can recharge the internal battery of devices without invasive surgery or risky penetrative procedures.
This simple and inexpensive design achieves high-quality ozone measurements.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Platform for All-Optical Computing
Computations are done solely with beams of light.
The mobile system could reduce healthcare workers’ exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
The device can translate expressions into emojis or silent speech commands.
Briefs: Imaging
High-Resolution X-Ray Camera System
The system has applications in X-ray spectroscopy, pump probes, and molecule imaging.
The camera collects the spatial and spectral information required for self-driving cars, machine vision, corrosion detection, and other applications.
The system allows multiple users to interact with the same VR app on smartphones, providing opportunities for education, healthcare, and entertainment.
Invisible displays on walls and windows would be bright when turned on but invisible when turned off.
Rather than using supecomputers, heart function simulation can be performed at the CT scanner.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
3D X-Ray Imager for 3D Object Retrieval
Applications include characterizing additively manufactured components and baggage screening.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Cascaded Offset Optical Modulator
This subsystem is used in free-space optical communications and fiber-optic communications.
Briefs: Aerospace
Method Tests Microscopic Aeronautical Materials
This process breaks the temperature barrier in small-scale materials testing.
This technique for optical data transmission from satellites uses laser arrays to provide fine pointing capability.
Any high-performance communication systems operating in RF or optical frequencies may benefit from this system.

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