Photonics & Imaging


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.

Reverse engineering and inspection software
Verisurf Software
Anaheim, CA

In spaceflight, the first eight...

Briefs: Medical
Low Er-Doped Yttrium Gallium Garnet (YGG) as Active Media for Solid-State Lasers at 1651 nm

The typical approach for producing laser output at the 1651-nm wavelength is via nonlinear frequency conversion. Lasers based on nonlinear conversion are complex, and it is very difficult to provide stability over time and over a wide range of operating...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Miniature Laser Magnetometer

Space missions using magnetometers have been very successful. However, science missions now require higher levels of accuracy and stability in order to refine existing understanding and improve modeling. In most space missions that require high-accuracy vector measurement of magnetic fields, a separate scalar...

The U.S. National Research Council recently identified the need for a near-term space mission of Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days,...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: April 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Dual-Cavity Rayleigh Scattering Measurement System

Molecular-based optical diagnostics techniques capable of obtaining simultaneous measurements of multiple fluid properties are critically important for characterizing hypersonic air-breathing engines, such as scramjet engines and scramjet-rocket combined cycle engines. Correlations between those...

A new software system developed at the University of Michigan uses video game technology to help solve one of the most daunting hurdles facing self-driving and automated cars: the high...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics
BeeRotor Robot Equipped with Insect-Like Eye

Biorobotics researchers at the Institut des Sciences du Mouvement (Aix Marseille University) have developed the BeeRotor, a tethered flying robot. The robot adjusts its speed and follows terrain without an accelerometer or the measurement of altitude.

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics
Ultra-Thin Lens Captures Perfect Colors

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences researchers developed an ultra-thin, completely flat lens made of a glass substrate and tiny, light-concentrating silicon antennas. Color correction is achieved in the single, miniaturized device.

Type-II interband cascade lasers (ICLs) based on the GaSb material system represent an enabling technology for laser absorption spectroscopy in the 3-to-5-μm...

Articles: Imaging
The Hubble Space Telescope

On April 24, 1990, something happened that forever altered mankind’s view of the universe. It was on that day that the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Articles: Aerospace
Interview with Jim Odom, Hubble Project Manager 1983-1986

Jim Odom served as project manager on the Hubble Space Telescope from 1983 to 1986. As the world celebrates Hubble’s 25th anniversary, Mr. Odom shared some of his experiences on the project.

Over the last 25 years, some of the sophisticated technology developed for the HST has been successfully spun off and commercialized to improve life on Earth.

Articles: Photonics/Optics
Customizing Visual 3D Optical Coatings

There are many ways to coat an optic and optimize the coating for a specific application, some more interesting than others. But any thin film coating process requires raw materials, coating...

Application Briefs: Electronics & Computers
3D Volumetric Display Technology

The United States government spends a lot of money on its defense programs, investing in the training and technology necessary to arm and prepare the most advanced fighting force on the planet. The price tag...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Fiber for Solar Cells

Polymeric and inorganic semiconductors offer relatively high quantum efficiencies, and are much less expensive and versatile to fabricate than non-amorphous silicon wafers. An optical fiber and cladding can be designed and fabricated to confine light for transport within ultraviolet and near-infrared media, using...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics
ORCA Prototype Ready to Observe Ocean

If selected for a NASA flight mission, the Ocean Radiometer for Carbon Assessment (ORCA) instrument will study microscopic phytoplankton, the tiny green plants that float in the upper layer of the ocean and make up the base of the marine food chain.

Optic fiber is normally used in the field of telecommunications to transmit information using light, but researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid developed a technique that...

It is becoming possible to image complex systems in 3-D with near-atomic resolution on ultrafast timescales using extremely intense X-ray...

Scientists at the University of Rochester have used lasers to transform metals into extremely water repellent, or super-hydrophobic, materials without the need for...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Thermal Imaging Camera

The FLIR Systems (Meer, Belgium) A6700sc features a highly sensitive 640x512 pixel resolution Indium Antimonide (InSb) detector that produces temperature- calibrated IR imagery for research and science applications....

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
NIR Single Photon Counting OEM Module

AUREA Technology (Besancon, France) has launched its newly designed fast Near Infrared (NIR) [900 nm-1700 nm] Single Photon Counting OEM Module, SPD_NIR_OEM_120MHz. Due to its Geiger-mode InGaAs...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Pyroelectric Detectors

LASER COMPONENTS Pyro Group (Olching, Germany) produces pyroelectric DLaTGS detectors - three series are available: One for users who would like to combine their detectors with their own electronics (LCDT-5000 series);...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Four-Channel Intelligent LED Controllers

Saelig Company Inc. (Fairport, NY) has announced the LED-Warrior04, a 4 channel, intelligent, programmable LED constant-current driver with DALI, DMX512, and I2C interfaces on board. Other bus...

Briefs: Imaging
Algorithm for Estimating PRC Wavefront Errors from Shack-Hartmann Camera Images

Phase retrieval (PR) and Shack-Hartmann Sensor (SHS) are the two preferred methods of image-based wavefront sensing widely used in various optical testbeds, adaptive optical systems, and ground- and space-based telescopes. They are used to recover the phase...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Photo-Thermo-Refractive Glass Co-Doped with Luminescent Agents for All-Solid-State Microchip Lasers

A proposed solid-state technology possesses photosensitivity that enables volume hologram recording and a high efficiency of luminescence, enabling stimulated emission. These features were used to record volume Bragg gratings and to demonstrate...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Large Computer-Generated Hologram with Software-Generated Calibration Wavefront Map

This technology enables accurate calibration of a large Computer Generated Hologram (CGH) fabricated without great accuracy, such that the CGH still measures an aspheric surface to an excellent accuracy of a couple of nm rms. The goal is the creation of software...

Articles: Motion Control
Google Glass for Industrial Automation

A new concept uses Google Glass for operating machinery, with all of the benefits delivered by wearable computing in an industrial environment. With Google’s Web-enabled glasses, status or dialog...

A new software system developed at the University of Michigan uses video game technology to help solve one of the most daunting hurdles facing self-driving and automated cars: the high cost...