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.

The figure is a simplified cross section of a microscopic optical switch that was partially developed at the time of reporting the information for this article. In a fully developed...

A simple, easy-to-use optoelectronic tool projects scale marks that become incorporated into photographic images (including film and electronic images). The sizes of objects...

A proposed method based on the use of a special-purpose diffractive optical element (DOE) would simplify (relative to prior methods) the alignment of three off-axis mirrors that constitute...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Laser Ranging Simulation Program

Laser Ranging Simulation Program (LRSP) is a computer program that predicts selected aspects of the performances of a laser altimeter or other laser ranging or remote-sensing systems and is especially applicable to a laser-based system used to map terrain from a distance of several kilometers. Designed to run in...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Theodolite With CCD Camera for Safe Measurement of Laser-Beam Pointing

The simple addition of a charge-coupled-device (CCD) camera to a theodolite makes it safe to measure the pointing direction of a laser beam. The present state of the art requires this to be a custom addition because theodolites are manufactured without CCD cameras as standard...

A ladar-based system now undergoing development is intended to enable an autonomous mobile robot in an outdoor environment to avoid moving toward trees, large rocks, and other...

Two techniques have been proposed to increase the efficiency of coupling of light from lasers to Cassegrain telescopes and, in general, telescopes with secondary or tertiary mirror...

InAs quantum-dot lasers that feature distributed feedback and lateral evanescent-wave coupling have been demonstrated in operation at a wavelength of 1.3 µm. These lasers are...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
System Would Detect Aircraft to Turn Off Upward-Aimed Laser

An electronic system based on long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) sensors is being developed to detect aircraft flying near an upward-aimed, high-power laser beam. In the intended application, the system would alert a human laser operator and/or generate a signal to turn off the laser...

The figure schematically depicts a proposed achromatic nulling beam combiner. This instrument is intended for use in astronomy - principally, for attenuating light from stars or other bright...

An improved optical polarizer has been proposed for use with a high-energy pulsed laser. This polarizer would separate the p- and s-polarized components (the components polarized parallel and...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Rugged Laser-Diode Oxygen Sensor

A rugged laser-diode oxygen sensor is being developed for detecting leaks of oxygen from diverse systems, including rocket engines, cryogenic systems, and medical equipment. The sensor is required to have a range of 250 to 250,000 parts per million, to be accurate within 5 percent, to be capable of operating at...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Thermography Using YVO₄:Dy³⁺

A proposed thermographic technique would exploit the unique fluorescence characteristics of yttrium vanadate doped with dysprosium (YVO4:Dy3+). The particular aspect of the fluorescence...

Carbon-composite submounts tipped with diamond are being developed as improved means of dissipating heat generated in high-power laser diodes. Copper is the traditional heat-sinking...

A method has been developed to increase the accuracy of estimates of phase differences attributable to the optical-path-length difference between the arms of a long-baseline,...

Light-emitting devices based on semiconductor quantum dots have been shown to be suitable for use in environments that include high levels of radiation that causes displacement...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical-Based Method for Characterizing Protein Crystals

A method of characterization of growing of protein crystals involves the utilization of an optical imaging technique known as spatial phase imaging. The methods used heretofore have been, variously, invasive (e.g., adding a dye that is absorbed by the protein of interest), destructive...

Fiber-optic couplers for spherical, toroidal, and other, similarly shaped microscopic optical resonators that operate in whispering-gallery (WG) modes would be fabricated with integral...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Spotlight Radiometer

A proposed radiometric instrument denoted the spotlight radiometer (SLR) would operate in a frequency band centered at ≈557 GHz and would scan in a conical or circular pattern. The SLR was conceived for use in...

A design for an unobscured, large-aperture but otherwise compact laser-beam expander relies solely on spherical reflecting and refracting surfaces, yet provides a...

An improved and expanded method of stereo imaging velocimetry (SIV) for diagnosing three-dimensional flows of gases, liquids, and other fluids involves the use of standard charge-coupled-device...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Infrared Fiber-Optic Endoscope

A proposed infrared transmitting fiber-optic endoscope, which would partly resemble a visible-light fiber-optic endoscope, instrument could be used to perform thermal imaging in harsh environments and/or confined spaces in a variety of situations in aerospace, industrial, automotive, and medical settings.

An unconventional and highly effective technique has been devised to reduce cyclic errors that arise in the operation of a displacement-measuring heterodyne optical interferometer....

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Fiber-Optic Probe Uses Evanescent Waves To Sense Biofilm

A compact instrument includes a fiber-optic probe that utilizes the evanescent-wave interaction to measure the accumulation of a biofilm. This instrument is a prototype of instruments that could be used to effect continuous monitoring and provide early warning of biofilms associated with...

A mid-infrared wave-number range has been identified as being useful for laser measurements of CO and CO2 gases that contain various combinations of isotopes of C and O. The...

The figure schematically depicts two proposed alternative versions of an instrument that amounts, in effect, to a compact, lightweight optoelectronic microscope that contains no...

The figure depicts the laboratory setup of an optical-fiber-coupled microsphere laser with an output in the 1.55-µm wavelength band used in some communication systems. This laser...

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