Photonics/Optics

Camera Trends 2017

For an in-depth look at current trends in the camera market, we interviewed Alex Shikany, Director of Market Analysis, Association for Advancing Automation (A3), Ann Arbor, MI.

Posted in: Articles, Photonics
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How to Test Devices Used in Optical Communications Systems

As signal rates approach 50 Gb/s, bandwidth demand has outpaced conventional circuit boards. Engineers are now turning to PAM4 signaling rather than conventional NRZ as the most viable solution to these design challenges.

Posted in: Articles, Photonics
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Blue-Light-Canceling Lens Gives Skiers a Clearer View

An optical filter for assessing plant health finds use in ski goggles.

Spinoff is NASA’s annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the fields of health and medicine, consumer goods, transportation, public safety, computer technology, and environmental resources.

Posted in: Articles, Optical Components, Optics, Optics, Optics, Terrain, Human factors, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Polymers, Visibility
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CMOS The Future of Image Sensor Technology

CMOS imaging is trending to become the dominant imaging technology. Initially, CMOS was limited by its inherent noise. Architectures were then essentially analog and the idea of integrating the image processing features with System On Chip (SoC) technology was yet to be considered. However, it is fundamentally this SoC characteristic of CMOS that has driven impressive growth. Over the years, this technology has become more and more competitive. The commercial race started in early 2000 when the big players applied continuous improvements to electro-optical performance.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Photonics, Architecture, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Architecture, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators
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Ruggedization of Imaging Lenses

Imaging lenses used in many industrial machine vision applications have special requirements beyond those of standard imaging lenses. The lenses used in factory automation, robotics, and industrial inspection have to work in specific and demanding environments, which could involve vibrations, shocks, temperature changes, and contaminants. Because of these environmental requirements, new classes of ruggedized lenses are being designed specifically to work in a multitude of different scenarios, therefore creating different types of ruggedization. There are three distinct types of ruggedization available: industrial ruggedization, ingress protection ruggedization, and stability ruggedization.

Posted in: Articles, Cameras, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Robotics, Vibration, Vibration, Durability, Durability
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Snapshot High-resolution Hyperspectral Imaging

Traditional digital cameras are comprised of an image sensor, typically either a Charge-Coupled Device (CCD), or, more commonly Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS). In either case, these devices integrate an array of photodiodes which convert photons to current which is then integrated over time and digitized. The sensing device is agnostic to the wavelength of detected photons, as long as the energy of these photons is sufficient to create electron-hole pairs which can then be separated under an electric field.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Photonics, Architecture, Charge coupled devices, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Architecture, Charge coupled devices, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators
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Chip-Scale Device ‘Fine-Tunes’ Wireless Communications

Achip-scale optical device, developed by a team from the University of Sydney’s Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST), achieves radio frequency signal control at sub-nanosecond time scales. The photonics breakthrough has the potential to provide broader bandwidth instantaneously to more users.

Posted in: Articles, Cameras, Imaging, Photonics, Internet, Optics, Radio equipment, Wireless communication systems, Internet, Optics, Radio equipment, Wireless communication systems
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Round Lens. Square Pixels. Accurate Images. Really?

Alens is cylindrical. It captures light in a circular plane for collection onto a rectangular digital sensor plane. This collection of photons is then transformed into electricity by smaller square pixels. Just how do these disparate shapes work together to provide usable images?

Posted in: Articles, Cameras, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators
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Drones Spot Gas Leaks From the Sky

As part of a project to improve energy pipeline industry safety, a JPL-developed miniature methane sensor is flight tested on a small unmanned aerial system. (Credit: University of California, Merced)

Posted in: Articles, Optics, Sensors, Gases, Hazardous materials, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Using Sensor Fusion to Analyze Laser Processing in Additive Manufacturing

Sensor: “A device that detects or measures a physical property and records, indicates, or otherwise responds to it.” A sensor is a device that detects a physical quantity and responds by transmitting a signal.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics, Lasers, Sensors and actuators, Lasers, Sensors and actuators, Additive manufacturing
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