Photonics & Imaging


Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Shock-Sensing Apparatus

Acompact shock-sensing device, which employs an innovative light sheet generator, has been created. The device may be used either as a solo aerodynamic shock detector or in combination with a scanning mode shock sensor. This permits easy detection and tracking of unstable and traveling shocks in supersonic inlets.

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
High-Performance Photocatalytic Oxidation Reactor System

As crewed space missions extend beyond low Earth orbit, the need to reliably recover potable water is critical. Aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the water is recycled from cabin humidity condensate, urine distillate, and hygiene wash wastes. In spacecraft cabin air...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Products of Tomorrow: April 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just...

Who's Who : Test & Measurement
Emily Wilson, Scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Emily Wilson developed a miniaturized laser heterodyne radiometer (mini-LHR) to measure the emissions of carbon dioxide and methane from melting permafrost. Wilson’s technology will be one of several NASA instruments sent to Alaska in June to analyze trace gases in the...

Articles : Materials
Reducing Interconnection Weight in Autosports

In Formula 1 and other autosports, weight reduction is critical to competitive advantage. A few grams saved here and a few more saved there can add up to significant savings. There is also a move...

Articles : Software
Precision Measurement and Inspection Ensure Quality of SLS Rocket Panels
Reverse engineering and inspection software
Verisurf Software
Anaheim, CA

In spaceflight, the first eight...

Briefs : Medical
Low Er-Doped Yttrium Gallium Garnet (YGG) as Active Media for Solid-State Lasers at 1651 nm

The typical approach for producing laser output at the 1651-nm wavelength is via nonlinear frequency conversion. Lasers based on nonlinear conversion are complex, and it is very difficult to provide stability over time and over a wide range of operating...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Dual-Cavity Rayleigh Scattering Measurement System

Molecular-based optical diagnostics techniques capable of obtaining simultaneous measurements of multiple fluid properties are critically important for characterizing hypersonic air-breathing engines, such as scramjet engines and scramjet-rocket combined cycle engines. Correlations between those...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Miniature Laser Magnetometer

Space missions using magnetometers have been very successful. However, science missions now require higher levels of accuracy and stability in order to refine existing understanding and improve modeling. In most space missions that require high-accuracy vector measurement of magnetic fields, a separate scalar...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Nonlinear Swept Frequency Technique for CO2 Measurements Using a CW Laser System

The U.S. National Research Council recently identified the need for a near-term space mission of Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days, and Seasons (ASCENDS). The primary objective of the ASCENDS mission is to make CO2 column...

Briefs : Energy
Optical Fiber for Solar Cells

Polymeric and inorganic semiconductors offer relatively high quantum efficiencies, and are much less expensive and versatile to fabricate than non-amorphous silicon wafers. An optical fiber and cladding can be designed and fabricated to confine light for transport within ultraviolet and near-infrared media, using...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Fabrication of Single-Mode, Distributed-Feedback, Interband Cascade Lasers

Type-II interband cascade lasers (ICLs) based on the GaSb material system represent an enabling technology for laser absorption spectroscopy in the 3-to-5-μm wavelength range. Instruments operating in this spectral regime can precisely match strong absorption lines of...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
The Hubble Space Telescope

On April 24, 1990, something happened that forever altered mankind’s view of the universe. It was on that day that the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Articles : Imaging
Interview with Jim Odom, Hubble Project Manager 1983-1986

Jim Odom served as project manager on the Hubble Space Telescope from 1983 to 1986. As the world celebrates Hubble’s 25th anniversary, Mr. Odom shared some of his experiences on the project.

Articles : Medical
Hubble Spinoffs: Space Age Technology for the Masses

Over the last 25 years, some of the sophisticated technology developed for the HST has been successfully spun off and commercialized to improve life on Earth.

Technology Leaders

Tech Briefs TV