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.

Products: Semiconductors & ICs
New on the Market: November 2018
Thermography Systems

Advanced Thermal Solutions, Norwood, MA, announced the tvLYT liquid crystal thermography system that provides a portable solution for temperature measurement of...

An MIT-developed technology monitors blood glucose levels without needles or a finger prick. Early results show that the noninvasive technology measures blood glucose levels as...

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

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: Photonics/Optics
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: Photonics/Optics
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
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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

Briefs: Energy
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...

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.

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: Test & Measurement
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: Test & Measurement
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,...

In the future, your car windshield could become a giant camera sensing objects on the road. Or each window in a home could be turned into a security camera.

CMOS Image Sensor

Teledyne e2v (Chelmsford, UK) has announced Snappy 2 megapixel, a new CMOS image sensor designed for barcode reading and other 2D scanning applications. The...

New solar energy research from Arizona State University demonstrates that silicon-based tandem photovoltaic modules, which convert sunlight to electricity with higher efficiency...

If you want to get the greatest benefit from a beam of light—whether to detect a distant planet or to remedy an aberration in the human eye—you need to be able to measure it. Well, a...

Before launching their latest science experiment, University at Buffalo researchers bought more than 200 types of tea, chocolate, herbs, and other foodstuffs. The goal wasn't to stock up...

A thin material was developed that can control the redirection and reflection of sound waves with almost perfect efficiency. While many theoretical approaches to...

Briefs: Nanotechnology
Faster Photons Could Make Data Totally Secure

Transferring data using light passed along fiber optic cables has become increasingly common over the past decades, but each pulse currently contains millions of photons. That means that in principle, a portion of these could be intercepted without detection. Secure data is already encrypted, but if...

While widely used for terrestrial medical applications, handheld blood analyzers are not suitable for space missions due to the short shelf-life of...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Controlled Manufacture of Porous Silicon Carbide

Extremely fine porous structures with tiny holes — resembling a kind of sponge at the nano level — can be generated in semiconductors. A method was developed for the controlled manufacture...

Digital Variable Impedance Transducer

With its user-friendly new graphical user interface (GUI) for easier setup and connectivity, and cloud-based data access/monitoring, the digiVIT digital...

Infrared spectroscopy is the benchmark method for detecting and analyzing organic compounds. However, that requires complicated procedures and large, expensive instruments, making...

Researchers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have demonstrated that deep learning, a powerful form of artificial intelligence, can discern and enhance...

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Briefs: Physical Sciences

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Articles: Electronics & Computers

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Briefs: Photonics/Optics

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