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  • Students Win Optical Design Contest

Photonics.com
Aug 2012
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 27, 2012 — The three 2012 winners of an annual optical design competition for students have been named, said electronic design automation company Synopsys Inc.

Anthony Visconti of the University of Rochester was recognized by the Robert S. Hilbert Memorial Optical Design Competition for his work on infrared optical imaging using Code V in his paper, “Optical Passive Athermalization Using Schott Chalcogenide Glasses.” Applications of Visconti’s project include thermal imaging for night vision systems, remote sensing for aerial photography, and satellite data collection.

Brett Sternfield, also of the University of Rochester, received the award for his work on a machine vision imaging system using Code V in his paper titled, “190 Degree FFOV Fisheye for Autonomous Robots.” Sternfield’s method could improve a robot’s ability to navigate a new environment and capture images, which could have applications in search and rescue missions, intelligence gathering and fast food delivery.

Josh Walters of the University of Alabama in Huntsville was recognized for his Code V project titled, “Non-Sequential Modeling of Multi-Aperture Lenslet Array Spectropolarimetric Imager.” Walter’s design reduces crosstalk in an imaging system that uses an array of lenslets, so that the resulting image of each channel is clearly distinguished. The study will help research the advantages of nontraditional imaging systems, similar to an insect’s compound eye.

The Robert S. Hilbert Memorial Optical Design Competition, established in 2000 by Optical Research Associates, was named in honor its former president and CEO, who was committed to fostering technical innovation in optics and supporting optics education. The competition is open to North American students working toward a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree who use Synopsys’s Code V or LightTools software to perform optical design and engineering research. The students must have submitted papers demonstrating optical design excellence.

“The entries we received reflect strong design concepts that were well executed and presented and show promise for optical systems across a broad range of applications,” said George Bayz, vice president and general manager of the Optical Solutions Group at Synopsys.

The three projects were on display Aug. 12-16 at SPIE Optics + Photonics in San Diego.

For more information, visit: www.synopsys.com



GLOSSARY
aerial photography
Photographing of terrain on the ground and objects in the air by cameras mounted in aircraft; utilized in satellites, multispectral scanning and intricate data handling systems.
lenslets
A matrix of miniature lenses, molded or formed onto a common base.
optical system
A group of lenses, or any combination of lenses, mirrors and prisms,  so constructed as to refract or reflect light to perform some definite optical function. 
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
remote sensing
Technique that utilizes electromagnetic energy to detect and quantify information about an object that is not in contact with the sensing apparatus.
thermal imaging
The process of producing a visible two-dimensional image of a scene that is dependent on differences in thermal or infrared radiation from the scene reaching the aperture of the imaging device.
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