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.

Plasma spraying has been shown to be an effective means of depositing thin films of various oxides for use as wavelength-selective emitters for thermophotovoltaic devices (see Figure...

Calcium bromide can be added to the sulfur filling in a sulfur lamp to increase the emission of red light for enhanced growth of plants. Red light is more efficacious for plant...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Maskless Gray-Scale X-Ray Lithography

In a proposed technique of maskless gray-scale x-ray lithography, a photoresist to be patterned would be exposed to a parallel beam of hard x-rays. As explained below, the photoresist would be translated across the beam at a varying rate to effect one-dimensional spatial variations in the radiation dose...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Nonsaturating Electronic Image Sensors

Focal-plane electronic image sensors that would not saturate when exposed to intense illumination have been proposed. These sensors could be used to acquire accurate, scientific-quality data on images (including spectral images), even when the images contain both very bright and very dark areas. The...

A methodology for designing highly accurate readout circuits for infrared (IR) image detectors that have large pixel detector capacitances (of the order of tens of picofarads) and...

Efforts are under way to develop a technique of noncontact acousto-ultrasonic testing in which (1) a pulsed laser beam excites ultrasonic waves in a plate specimen and (2) the...

Irradiation by the beam from a CO2laser has been found to be an effective means of marking a black anodized aluminum surface. In general, this process works on any dark...

A proposed focal-plane array (FPA) of quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) would sense images in three different infrared wavelength bands simultaneously. These and other QWIP infrared...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Update on Fuzzy-Logic-Enhanced Digital-PIV Software

Two reports present additional information on the subject matter of "Software for Processing Data in Particle-Image Velocimetry" (LEW-16857),NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 24, No. 1 (January 2000), page 26a. Like the cited prior article, both reports discuss the principles and the practical aspects of...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Two-Color Random Reflectors for QWIPs

Random reflectors of a proposed type would be fabricated on the back surfaces of quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) to increase the coupling efficiency of infrared light into the QWIPs in two...

Tridirectional diffraction gratings have been proposed to provide optical coupling to quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) in focal-plane arrays. The tridirectional gratings...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Filters Based on Dense Arrays of Microscopic Pillars

A proposal for development of a class of high-transmission and antireflection optical filters is derived from the observation that the eyes of moths reflect almost no light, regardless of the wavelength or the angle of incidence of illumination. The low-reflection property of moth...

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are grounded in a self-luminous display technology based on thin organic films as the light emitter. Like conventional inorganic...

A simplified microwave radiometric apparatus has been proposed for use in quantifying the potential danger of accretion of ice onto an aircraft flying through a cloud. The quantity...

A developmental electro-optical system would enable remote real-time viewing of a scene through a multimode optical fiber, as though the fiber were a conventional image-transmitting optic...

Precise small apertures for a variety of optical applications can be formed in silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers by use of a photolithographic process developed specifically for the...

A method of processing phase measurements in an unequal-arm laser Michelson interferometer makes it possible to detect phase effects much smaller than the laser phase noise. In...

The figure depicts several aspects of a unique type of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) that incorporate fiber Fabry-Perot (FFP) optical cavities. These lasers have been...

The size of a holographic data-storage system could be reduced by a proposed design modification that calls for replacement and repositioning of some optical components and the use of...

Monolithic semiconductor photodiodes that discriminate against infrared and visible light and that can be tailored to detect ultraviolet light in selected wavelength bands have been...

Pulse shepherding (defined below) can be exploited to impress synchronized amplitude-modulation pulses, with durations of the order of picoseconds, onto beams of light with...

A dynamic-light-scattering (DLS) method that reduces undesired contributions from multiply scattered photons has been invented. The method involves, among other things,...

Under a Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award of $99,000 with Goddard Space Flight Center, Advanced Optical Systems Inc. (AOS) has produced a 13.5-kg/m2 6-in.-diameter...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Lightweight Reflector Dishes Would Be Made by Spin Casting

Lightweight reflector dishes for radio antennas would be mass-produced cheaply by spin casting of polymers, according to a proposal. These reflector dishes were conceived for compact stowage followed by deployment and operation aboard spacecraft, but might also be useful on Earth in...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Retroreflective Communication Systems

A retroreflective communication system (RCS), is a state-of-the-art system that provides (1) two-way optical communication using only one transmitter and (2) multipath communication among remote locations. RCSs were conceived for use in communication among stations on the ground and aboard spacecraft in...

A phased-array-fed cylindrical-reflector antenna with superquadric projected aperture has been designed to afford the ability to scan the beam over a wide angular range without...

Open-cell silicon carbide foam coated with a ferrite-filled absorbing resin has been found to be useful for black-body absorbers at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. The...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Adaptive Filtering of SAR Interferograms

An algorithm for filtering synthetic-aperture-radar (SAR) interferograms has been developed which substantially improves the performance of subsequent phase-unwrapping. It accomplishes this task by filtering the interferogram strongly in areas where the scene contains little detail, and weakly where the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Software for Processing Data in Particle-Image Velocimetry

PIVPROC is a computer program for processing data in particle-image velocimetry (PIV), which is a method of determining a flow velocity field from images of small seed particles that are entrained in the flow and that are illuminated by laser pulses at known intervals of time. PIVPROC...

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