Photonics/​Optics

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

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Seeing Around Corners to Detect Object Shapes
Special light sources and sensors see around corners or through gauzy filters, enabling reconstruction of the shapes of unseen objects.
This method could lead to the transmission of data at the rate of 100 gigabits per second.
The lasers are small and efficient enough to fit on a microchip.
This imaging technique could impact optical communications and signal processing.
Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
NASA Space Data Can Cut Disaster Response Times, Costs
The NASA study is a first step in developing a model to deploy in future disasters.
Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
Researchers Generate Terahertz Laser with Laughing Gas
In the middle ground between microwaves and visible light lies terahertz radiation, and the promise of “Tray vision.”
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Remote, Noninvasive Cardiac Activity Tracer (RENCAT)
This vibrometer has uses in analyzing spasms in humans, as a breath analyzer for diagnosis of cancer and other diseases, and as a preventative healthcare sensor.
These thin films hold great promise for solar cells and LEDs.
Briefs : Materials
3D Printing Technique Produces “Living” 4D Materials
3D/4D printing is merged with a chemical process to produce “living” resin, which has potential for recycling and biomedicine.
The switch is a major new step toward building a computer that uses light instead of electricity to process information.
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Polymer Coating Cools Down Buildings
This coating acts as a spontaneous air cooler and can be fabricated, dyed, and applied like paint.
This innovation could lead to better drones, satellites, and biomedical devices.
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Multimaterial Fiber “Ink” for 3D-Printed Devices
Filaments with embedded circuitry can be used to print complex shapes for biomedical and robotic devices.
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Long-Distance LADAR System and Method
The system provides three-dimensional imagery of potential threats at closer ranges.
Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
Underwater Telecom Cables Used as Seismic Network
Fiber-optic cables could help scientists study offshore earthquakes and the geologic structures hidden deep beneath the ocean surface.
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Atoms Can Receive Common Communications Signals
This atom-based receiver has the potential to be smaller and work better in noisy environments than conventional radio receivers.
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Welding Ceramics with Lasers
This technology could be used to create smartphones that don't scratch or shatter, metal-free pacemakers, and electronics for space and other harsh environments.
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Intelligent Microrobots
Such machines, only a few tens of micrometers across, could be used in the human body to perform small operations.
A new laser-based system offers an efficient way to detect fires in challenging environments such as industrial facilities or large construction sites.
For disease diagnosis, a microchip maps the back of the eye.
A system senses tiny changes in shadows on the ground to determine if there’s a moving object coming around the corner.
A nanoantenna-enabled detector boosts the usable signal of a thermal infrared camera by up to three times.
Interaction of sound and light reveals new information of a crystal's quantum properties.
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Particle Robot Works as a Cluster of Simple Units
Loosely connected disc-shaped “particles” can push and pull one another, moving together to transport objects.
This technology is a novel, rugged, and economic diagnostic and sensor platform technology.
These advances are useful for transportation, infrastructure, and aerospace.
This thin film can be used for ground-based and airborne applications in aircraft, balloons, and other flight missions.
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Embedded Gas and Temperature Sensors for Extreme Environments

Innovative process control systems for improved efficiency and lower emissions in current and future fossil-fuel-based power systems and related applications require durable, embedded sensor technology that can operate at higher temperatures and in harsh conditions.

Radar technologies were originally designed to identify and track airborne military targets. Today, they're more often used to detect motor vehicles, weather formations,...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Embedded Fiber Optic Sensors (EFOS)

Current laser interferometry pressure pulse detection techniques use the shock-induced change in index of refraction to track detonation and/or shock fronts in a single fiber optic by reflecting laser...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

High-Powered Directed Energy Laser Projects: Destroy the Target,...

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Optical Coating Design

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Rapid Decompression and Sealed Containers: Why Choose Magnet...

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Advantages of Smart Servo Steppers vs. Smart Brushless Servos

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Large Cable, Large Problems: Considerations for Innovation

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robots: Are They as Safe as They Sound?