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.

Multi-scale retinex with color restoration (MSRCR) is a method of processing digital image data based on Edwin Land's retinex (retina + cortex) theory of human color vision. An...

An instrumentation system that would include an ultraviolet (UV) laser or light-emitting diode, an infrared (IR) laser, and the equivalent of an IR Raman spectrometer has been proposed...

Focal-plane arrays of quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) equipped with both light-coupling diffraction gratings and metal side reflectors have been proposed, and prototypes are...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Metallized Capillaries as Probes for Raman Spectroscopy

A class of miniature probes has been proposed to supplant the fiber-optic probes used heretofore in some Raman and fluorescence spectroscopic systems. A probe according to the proposal would include a capillary tube coated with metal on its inside to make it reflective. A microlens would be...

Next-generation thermal load sensors, or combo sensors, optimize climate control and lighting in "intelligent automobiles," thereby enhancing the comfort and safety of drivers and passengers....

According to a proposal, basic x-ray lithography would be extended to incorporate a technique, called "inverse tomography," that would enable the fabrication of microscopic...

Learning algorithms for machine vision are essential for many of the applications that require inspection and guidance. These algorithms typically require some type of learning...

Photovoltaic arrays of the rainbow type, equipped with light-concentrator and spectral-beam-splitter optics, have been investigated in a continuing effort to develop lightweight, high-efficiency...

A method for correcting the aim of a beam-waveguide microwave antenna compensates for the beam aberration that occurs during radio tracking of a target that has a component of...

Deformable mirrors of a proposed type would be equipped with relatively-large-stroke microscopic piezoelectric actuators that would be used to maintain their reflective surfaces in precise...

A class of lightweight, deployable, thin-shell, curved mirrors with built-in precise-shape-control actuators is being developed for high-resolution scientific imaging. This technology incorporates a...

Planar two-dimensional arrays of thermopiles intended for use as thermal-imaging detectors are to be fabricated by a process that includes surface micromachining. These thermopile arrays...

Features: Photonics/Optics
Advanced Near-Infrared Cameras

Many imaging applications in the near-infrared (NIR) region of the spectrum require sensors that see beyond the traditional charge-coupled device (CCD) sensor’s spectral range. A standard uncoated CCD...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Custom Software for Infrared Camera Image Acquisition and Control

Infrared cameras based on hybrid focal-plane array sensors are unlike consumer video products such as camcorders. They are complicated imaging devices that output very large amounts of digital image data at high speeds, require multiple levels of camera control, and produce...

Brushlike arrays of carbon nanotubes embedded in microstrip waveguides provide highly efficient (high-Q) mechanical resonators that will enable ultra-miniature radio-frequency (RF)...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical-Quality Thin Polymer Membranes

A method of fabricating both curved and flat thin polymer membranes of optical quality has been developed. The method was originally intended to enable the fabrication of lightweight membrane imaging and interferometric optics, possibly with apertures multiple meters wide, for use in scientific instruments...

Electromechanical resonators of a proposed type would comprise single carbon nanotubes suspended between electrodes (see Figure 1). Depending on the nanotube length, diameter, and...

Features: Photonics/Optics
Curved Focal Surfaces

Employing a leading-edge technology can fundamentally change the requirements on an optical design. This is true for a range of emerging technologies, including the curved electro-optical detector. Curved...

Features: Photonics/Optics
Reduced Cladding Fibers

The adoption of reduced cladding thickness fibers by the telecom industry has greatly increased over the last year. In fact, almost every specialty fiber manufacturer has launched products aimed at the small form...

An optoelectronic apparatus has been invented as a noninvasive means of measuring the concentration of glucose in the human body. The apparatus performs polarimetric and interferometric...

An optoelectronic system has been developed for measuring heights, above a floor, of designated points on a large object. In the original application for which the system was...

A method of detecting bacterial spores incorporates

Miniature, relatively inexpensive microbioanalytical systems ("laboratory-on-a-chip" devices) have been proposed for the detection of hazardous microbes and toxic chemicals. Each...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Pulsed-Source Interferometry in Acoustic Imaging

A combination of pulsed-source interferometry and acoustic diffraction has been proposed for use in imaging subsurface microscopic defects and other features in such diverse objects as integrated-circuit chips, specimens of materials, and mechanical parts. A specimen to be inspected by this...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Live/Dead Bacterial Spore Assay Using DPA-Triggered Tb Luminescence

A method of measuring the fraction of bacterial spores in a sample that remain viable exploits DPA-triggered luminescence of Tb3+ and is based partly on the same principles as those described in the immediately preceding article. Unlike prior methods for performing...

Two monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) have been designed and built to function together as a source of electromagnetic radiation at a frequency of 120 GHz. One of the...

A voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) that operates in the frequency range from 77.5 to 83.5 GHz has been constructed in the form of a monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) that...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Distributing Digital Signals to Multiple Destinations

Digital signal fanout is a very common requirement in testing, experimentation, and systems integration. Unlike radio frequency signals, high-speed digital signals cannot be simply split or "teed" off to multiple destinations. Even with a matched-impedance splitter, the resulting amplitude...

Efforts are under way to develop a special class of thin-shell curved mirrors for high-resolution imaging in visible and infrared light in a variety of terrestrial or...

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