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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Ultra-Thin Camera Creates Images Without Lenses

Traditional cameras — even those on the thinnest cellphones — cannot be truly flat due to their optics. The lenses require a certain shape and size in order to function. A new camera design...

Briefs : Materials
Two-Dimensional Semiconductor Materials Created Using Artificial “Superlattices”

One current method to build a semiconductor superlattice — materials comprised of alternating layers of ultra-thin, two-dimensional sheets only one or a...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
On-Chip Optical Filter Processes Wide Range of Light Wavelengths

MIT researchers have designed an optical filter on a chip that can process optical signals from across an extremely wide spectrum of light at once, something never before...

Articles : RF & Microwave Electronics
Simplifying Access to High Energy Sub-5-fs Pulses

In order to make ultrafast pulses accessible to the broadest possible field of applications, Coherent has been implementing a comprehensive program of design methodologies, materials...

Products : Imaging
New Products: November 2018 Photonics & Imaging Technology

Optical Monitoring System

The SpectraLock Optical Monitoring System from Eddy Company (Apple Valley, CA) provides in-situ monitoring and deposition rate control to produce...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Next-Generation Photodetector Camera to Deploy During Robotic Servicing Demonstration Mission

An advanced, highly compact thermal camera that traces its heritage to one now flying on NASA's Landsat 8 has been mounted in a corner of NASA's...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Imaging Innovation for Spinal Care

Motion capture (Mocap) is a technique used in the film industry to digitally track a human actor's movements and precisely transfer those motions to an animated figure. But it has other applications as...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Photonic Communication Comes to Computer Chips

With novel optoelectronic chips and a new partnership with a top silicon-chip manufacturer, MIT spinout Ayar Labs aims to increase speed and reduce energy consumption in computing, starting with...

News : Medical
New Camera Gives Surgeons a Butterfly's-Eye View of Cancer

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington University in St. Louis have developed a surgical camera inspired by the eye of the morpho butterfly. The...

Briefs : Imaging
Shrimp-Inspired Camera May Enable Underwater Navigation

The underwater environment may appear to the human eye as a dull-blue, featureless space. However, a vast landscape of polarization patterns appear when viewed through a camera that is...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Custom Optomechanics in Industrial UV Lasers

Reliability and longevity directly impact the cost of using Q-switched, diode pumped, solid state, ultraviolet lasers in industrial applications. Damage to the intracavity harmonic crystal is...

Briefs : Imaging
Novel Optics for Ultrafast Cameras Create New Possibilities for Imaging

MIT researchers have developed novel photography optics that capture images based on the timing of reflecting light inside the optics instead of the traditional approach...

Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Ray Optics Simulation of Inertial Navigation Systems

Attitude detection is a crucial element in aircraft and spacecraft navigation. The motion of an aircraft consists of a translational component (motion of its center of mass with respect to...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Grand Prize Winner

INVISIBLE GLASS

Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) has developed a method for creating surface nanotextures that effectively...

White Papers : Photonics/Optics
Virtual Prototypes Speed Time to Market for Solid-State Lidar

Lidar is one of the most important optical technologies in the race toward mainstream self-driving cars. Most of the innovation of lidar systems in the automotive industry is focused on creating solid-state systems and reducing the movement of the mechanism that scans the laser beam...

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Unique Lift System Enables Installation and Servicing of Large Telescope Mirrors

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), under construction atop 8,737-foot El Peñón peak in northern Chile, is a partnership project of the National...

Products : Photonics/Optics
New Products: October 2018 Motion Design

Multi-Voltage Motors

Simotics SD Pro low-voltage motors from Siemens (Munich, Germany) are suited for mains-fed operation or with a converter for voltages up to 690 volts. There is generally...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Conformal Metasurface Coating Eliminates Crosstalk and Shrinks Waveguides

Researchers have developed a method to simultaneously control diverse optical properties of dielectric waveguides by using a two-layer coating, each layer with a...

Briefs : Materials
3D-Printing Light Receptors on a Hemispherical Surface

Researchers have 3D-printed an array of light receptors on a hemispherical surface. This discovery could lead to a “bionic eye” that could someday help blind people see or sighted...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Products of Tomorrow: October 2018

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Briefs : Aerospace
Technique Creates Adaptive Materials

A technique that enables on-demand control of composite behavior could enable a variety of new capabilities for future rotorcraft design, performance, and maintenance. The focus of the research was on...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Power Line Detection System for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Electrical power lines pose a serious crash hazard to helicopters and other air-based vehicles, especially small aerial vehicles such as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). This is because power lines are so widespread, hard to see, and strung at roughly the same height above the ground at...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Configuration Enables RFID Tags to Work as Sensors

The detection and localization of gas releases, such as methane from leaking natural gas pipelines or nitrogen oxides from failing electrical equipment, require high sensitivity to the target gas and insensitivity to non-target gases. Infrared (IR) absorption spectroscopy gives highly specific...

Briefs : Aerospace
Optical Mass Sensor for Multi-Phase Flows

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is offering opportunities for its new fiber optic mass flow sensor system. Capable of measuring multi-phase flows in a pipe, the technology is minimally invasive,...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Generating Light-Induced Electrical Current in Atomically Thin Nanomaterials

When hit with light, semiconductors (materials that have an electrical resistance in between that of metals and insulators) generate an electric current....

Articles : Propulsion
NASA at 60: Celebrating Success

Over the past 60 years, NASA scientists and engineers have developed many advanced technologies and processes. But NASA has also partnered with industry, using commercially available products to complete its missions. Here, some of those companies join NASA in celebrating these collaborative successes.

Articles : Imaging
NASA at 60: From Space to Earth

The benefits of NASA's space exploration efforts are not limited to the cosmos. NASA technologies provide innovative solutions for people around the world. NASA missions have generated thousands of spinoffs...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Switch Controls Light on a Nanoscale for Faster Information Processing

Photons, or units of light, are faster than electrons and could, therefore, process information faster from smaller chip structures. A switch was designed that bypasses a...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
“Soft Hardware” Cloth Has Built-In Electronic Devices

Optical fibers have been traditionally produced by making a cylindrical object called a preform — essentially, a scaled-up model of the fiber — and then heating it. Softened...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Efficient Semiconductor Material for Thermal Management

Computer processors have continued to shrink down to nanometer sizes where there can be billions of transistors on a single chip. This phenomenon is described under Moore's Law, which...

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