Photonics & Imaging

Photonics/​Optics

Explore the latest technical briefs and product breakthroughs in photonics and optics. Resources include breakthroughs in lasers, laser systems, fiber optics, optical components, and photonics.

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics
Tiny Lenses Capture Very Big View

Engineers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created the first- ever flexible, Fresnel zone plate microlenses with a wide field of view — a development that could allow everything from surgical...

Electron microscopy researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a unique way to build 3-D structures with finely controlled...

A new, onion-like nanoparticle could open new frontiers in bioimaging, solar energy harvesting and light-based security techniques.

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Beam Steering Developer’s Kit

New Scale Technologies Inc. (Victor, NY) has a new beam steering developer’s kit for precise point-to-point beam positioning and dynamic scanning up to 100 Hz. The two piezoelectric rotary stages in the...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
High Definition Infrared Camera

FLIR Systems (Meer, Belgium) has announced the new FLIR 1030sc High Definition (HD) Longwave Infrared (LW-IR) camera. Coupling an extraordinarily sensitive detector, with new FLIR OSXTM Precision HD-ready...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
180-Degree FOV High Definition Lens

A new extra lightweight, 180-degree field-of-view (FOV) F/1.4, high definition fisheye lens for use in both commercial and defense applications has been released by Ophir Optics (Jerusalem, Israel). The...

Scientists from Stanford University have discovered how to make the electrical wiring on top of solar cells nearly invisible to incoming light. The new design, which uses silicon nanopillars to...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Multicore Fiber Fanout

Optoscribe (West Lothian, Scotland) has introduced an ultra-low crosstalk option to its 3D Optofan series of multicore fiber fanouts. By controlling the 3D waveguide layout inside the component, stray light is...

Researchers at the University of Washington and Microsoft Research developed HyperCam, a lower-cost hyperspectral camera that uses both visible and invisible near-infrared light to “see”...

A new, all-optical method for compressing narrow electron pulses to a billionth of a billionth of a second could improve real-time movies of chemical reactions and other ultrafast...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics
Single-Molecule Nanosubmarines Powered by Light

Rice University scientists have created light-driven, single-molecule submersibles that contain just 244 atoms. The motors of the "nanosubmarines" run at more than a million RPM, and the sub's top speed amounts to less than 1 inch per second.

MIT’s Netra, a plastic, binocular-like headset attaches in the front to a smartphone. Users peer through the headset at the phone’s display. Patterns, such as...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Alignment of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Spacecraft

Theodolite autocollimation metrology continues to play an important part in spacecraft optical alignment. Spacecraft optical alignment is both art and science for using optical instruments to place or determine the orientation and envelope of critical components on...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Low-Excess-Noise, High-Gain Avalanche Photodiodes

Avalanche photodiodes (APDs) are widely used to sense and amplify optical signals into electric signals based on their high quantum efficiency of photon detection and desirable internal gain. The high internal gain associated with APDs, however, may also lead to increased levels of excess noise...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
A Novel Approach to Liquid-Level Sensing Using Fiber Bragg Grating Technology (CryoFOSS)

The Cryogenic Fiber Optic Sensing System (CryoFOSS) offers an approach to liquid-level sensing that uses fiber optic Bragg sensor technology. The innovation is able to sense liquid levels to within 1/4-inch spatial resolution and can actively discern between...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Radiation Design of Ion Mass Spectrometer for Europa

An ion mass spectrometer was developed (IMS) that can operate in the high radiation environment of Jupiter’s magnetosphere and its icy moons. If successful, this instrument will provide the first plasma composition measurements within Jupiter’s magnetosphere. This entails development of...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Algorithm for Determining Solar Aspect from Images Generated by the HEROES Mission

The goal of the High Energy Replicated Optics to Explore the Sun (HEROES) mission was to adapt an existing balloon payload, known as High Energy Replicated Optics (HERO), for solar observation. HERO used an on-axis star camera for fine aspect sensing, but this...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Semiconductor Quantum Cascade Lasers Fabricated Without Epitaxial Regrowth

Laser absorption spectroscopy has emerged as one of the most important applications for semiconductor quantum cascade (QC) lasers, particularly in the mid-infrared spectral regime where many gases of interest exhibit fundamental absorption features. Laser absorption...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Multi-Gb/s Fiberoptic Bus for Spacecraft

A fiberoptic bus interconnect for spacecraft with multi-Gb/s data rate capacity is designed to provide seamless coordinated control and data exchange at typical intra-spacecraft distances. The...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
MEMS Glow Discharge Plasma Electron and Ion Source

A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) glow discharge plasma electron and ion source (GDEIS) was designed for operation in high-pressure environments such as planetary atmospheres for mass spectroscopy. Glow discharge electron/ ion sources create electrons and ions from gas molecules in an...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Conformal Nanotube Baffle for a Compact Coronagraph

The development of a conformal nanotube process is enabling for many applications in solar physics and space astrophysics (e.g., direct detection and imaging of exoplanets). Coronagraphs are key heliophysics instruments because they image coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are the most...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Fabrication of Ion Optics Using Additive Manufacturing

Ion optics, or grids, for ion thrusters or ion sources are traditionally made by subtractive manufacturing methods such as milling/drilling or chemically etching holes from thin sheets of bulk material. This innovation uses additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, to build the grids from...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
A 16-Beam, Non-Scanning, Swath-Mapping Laser Altimeter Instrument

The purpose of this work was to develop and demonstrate technologies for a next-generation, efficient, swath-mapping space laser altimeter. The Lidar Surface Topography (LIST) mission concept allows simultaneous measurements of 5-meter-spatial-resolution topography and vegetation...

Optoelectronic components must be protected from the radiation they are exposed to in military, space and nuclear environments to prevent malfunction and damage. Radiation hardening electronics...

Chances are you’re familiar with HDTV. Most of us have one of these in our living rooms. In fact, according to a recent study, more than 80% of US residents probably...

Lambda Research Corporation (Littleton, MA), the US distributor of opsira metrology equipment and designer and publisher of illumination and optical design software, has introduced the...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Laser Power/Energy Meter

Ophir Photonics (North Logan, UT) recently announced the 120K-W Laser Power Meter, the only commercial sensor for measuring very high power 120 kW lasers. The 120K-W Laser Power Meter consists of a beam dump with...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Ultrahigh-Speed Digital Cameras

Vision Research (Wayne, NJ) has enhanced its UHS-Series line of 1 megapixel (1Mpx) ultrahigh-speed cameras. The new Phantom v2512, v2012, v1612, and v1212 cameras are now available with either 72GB, 144GB, or...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Ultra-Stable Light Sources

OZ Optics’ (Ottawa, Canada) series of laser diode sources delivers an ultra-stable output, either directly or via a fiber optic cable. Sources are available at wavelengths ranging from 375 nm to 2050 nm, and with...

Trending Stories

Articles: Software

Modeling & Simulation for Battery Development

Articles: Data Acquisition

Executive Roundtable: Facility & Network Security

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A New, Highly Improved Two-Cycle Engine

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The Modern Industrial Workhorse: PID Controllers

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

Mars 2020 – The Science of Mars 2020

NASA Spinoff: Energy

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Videos