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.

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Software for Analyzing Telecommunication Link Performance

The Telecom Forecaster Predictor (TFP) is a multi-mission computer program for analyzing deep space telecommunication links. Analysts use the TFP for link planning, performance prediction, and post-pass trending analysis. For each mission, multiple users access a controlled set of TFP...

Integrated-circuit imaging devices of a proposed type would contain planar arrays of microscopic sensors that would exploit giant magnetoresistance (GMR). Each GMR sensor in such a...

A method of processing phase measurements in a large, unequal-arm laser Michelson interferometer makes it possible to measure phase effects much smaller than the laser phase noise....

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Improved Dynamic Holographic Optical-Interconnection System

An improved visual display system for a helmet produces two- and three-dimensional images by use of the limited domain of spatial light modulation (SLM) values. One especially notable improvement incorporated into the design of this system is a simplification in the design of dynamic...

Optoelectronic oscillators (OEOs) that incorporate carrier-suppression subsystems for reduction of close-to-carrier phase noise are undergoing development. The carrier-suppression...

A control scheme for nulling interferometry has been devised to make it possible to stabilize interferometric optical-path-length differences to within approximately a nanometer....

An experimental traveling-wave photomixing device generates narrow-band electromagnetic radiation at frequencies up to a few terahertz. The device is, potentially, a prototype of...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Holographic Circle-to-Point Converter

The figure schematically depicts the use of a special-purpose holographic plate to focus light from (1) circular interference fringes generated by a Fabry-Perot etalon to (2) a series of points, each...

A prototype laser ignition system has been developed for use in a hydrogen/oxygen-burning spacecraft thruster. The system could readily be adapted to terrestrial applications in which...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Mirror Structures Made of Pyrolytic Graphite

Experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of making mirror structures that comprise a thin face plate of chemical-vapor-deposited (CVD) pyrolytic graphite (PG) integrated with a thicker backing plate of CVD PG open-cell foam. The backing plate serves as a stiff structural support for the face...

An optoelectronic system provides information on the relative position and orientation of two structures that are required to be brought together slowly and gently in a prescribed alignment....

A method of designing a compact pushbroom imaging spectrometer includes explicit consideration and minimization of nonuniformity of spatial and spectral response. It appears that...

A high-power laser beam can be used to apply a torque to a sample of material that is electromagnetically and/or electrostatically levitated in a vacuum. The torque can be used to...

A method of tailoring the cores of optical fibers to obtain optical properties needed for specific photonic applications exploits the sol-gel process. The method is expected to open new...

Surfaces would be textured with dense arrays of pillars characterized by micron and submicron dimensions, according to a proposal, in order to impart desired optical properties to the...

Recent research has demonstrated the feasibility of an all-optical method of recording and readout of holograms in photorefractive crystals, with capabilities for both nonvolatile...

A proposed quantum-well infrared photodetector (QWIP) would exploit resonant-phonon-assisted transitions to reduce dark current significantly below that of a typical previously developed...

A photonic system has been devised for acquiring a radio-frequency (RF) signal from a remote receiving antenna via a long optical fiber. The system performs multiple functions,...

Cylindrical lenses can be used to increase the efficiency of coupling of light between (1) beams with circular or nearly circular cross sections propagating in single-mode optical...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Fast Infrared Spectrometer

A spectrometer has been developed for acquiring transient emission and absorption spectra in the wavelength range from 1.2 to 5.0 µm. It could be used to characterize flames, turbulence, and other transient...

An improved photodiode-based complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) active-pixel sensor (APS) incorporates features to (1) allow imaging with very high electronic shutter...

A fiber-optic illumination device that aids the inspection of window surfaces has been improved to make it suitable for automated detection of pits, scratches, and subsurface damage...

Two improved schemes for the design and operation of photodiode-based CMOS (complementary metal oxide/ semiconductor) active-pixel sensors (APSs) afford zero image...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Whispering-Gallery-Mode Microspheres as Light Modulators

Light modulators of a proposed type would exploit the propagation of lightin "whispering-gallery" electromagnetic modes in microspheres made of electro-optical materials. These modulators would offer advantages of ultrahigh modulation efficiency and increased bandwidth, relative to their...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Electrodeposition of Strong Glassy Metals

Thin-walled structures made of strong glassy nickel and glassy nickel-cobalt alloys, with tailorable low residual stresses, and with high resistance to permanent plastic deformation, can be formed by use of an electrodeposition process. This process was developed to enable the fabrication of lightweight,...

A technique of parallel-beam interferometry with spatially incoherent light has been proposed to solve two problems that arise in conjunction with using interferometry to measure the shape...

A method of correcting for the distorting effects of the atmosphere upon a laser beam used in free-space optical communication has been proposed. The original version of the method...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Improved Optical Fallout Monitor

Modifications have been made to upgrade the system described in "Optoelectronic Particle-Fallout Sensor" (KSC-11687), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 19, No. 4 (April 1995), page 17a. A description of the unmodified version of the system is necessary to place a description of the modifications in context:

In a proposed method for rapidly detecting hydrazine in air at concentrations at or above 10 parts per billion by volume (ppbv), tunable diode lasers (TDLs) and photodetectors would be...

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