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Photonics Spectra: November 2014

Breaking Ground Now: Next-Gen Giant Telescopes
A new generation of larger, faster and more far-reaching telescopes is poised to revolutionize our understanding of the universe. The largest telescope on Earth is currently the Gran...
Valerie C. Coffey, Science Writer,
PMD Camera Enhances 3-D Imaging
A CMOS-architecture imaging array where each pixel is a photonic mixer device overcomes challenges in 3-D image capture. Gauging the distance, size and shape of an object is of paramount and...
John Gilmore, Hamamatsu Corporation, and Dr. Slawomir Piatek, New Jersey Institute of Technology
'Internet of Lights' Meets Industrial Internet of Things
A network of LED lights can be controlled with new levels of ease and precision using commercially available intelligent lighting modules and control networking solutions. The initial promise...
Gerard Harbers, Xicato, and Sanjay Manney, Echelon Corp.
MWIR for Remote Sniffing and Locating of Gases
A mid-wave infrared camera visualizes methane gas leaking from a drilling platform. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is significantly more damaging than carbon dioxide. When it leaks...
Raf Vandersmissen, Sinfrared, and Thomas Zimmermann, TIB Infrared Solutions
Understanding Passively Q-Switched Solid-State Lasers
The operation of Q-switched lasers can be quantitatively understood – with huge benefits for laser design. In the September issue, we covered the operation and design of actively Q-switched...
Rüdiger Paschotta, RP Photonics Consulting GmbH
Microbolometers Move Thermal Imaging into Next-Gen Commercial Uses
Technology advances and improved manufacturing of uncooled thermal detectors are fueling this application expansion. First developed for military applications in the 1950s, thermal imaging...
Cees Draijer, Teledyne Dalsa

Amazing Space
October skies were rich with astronomical events – we saw a harvest moon, a partial solar eclipse and the Orionid meteor shower, to name a few – and jaw-dropping images were captured by amateur and professional astronomers around the world. From the humblest homemade telescopes that spark young imaginations and set the course for future careers to very large telescopes supported by...
Karen A. Newman, Group Publisher,

Nanoscale Features Used to Color Plastics
Nanoscale structures could one day take the place of dyes in the production of colored plastics. A team from the Technical University of Denmark has found a more environmentally friendly way...
Light Pulses Control Graphene Behavior
A new way to control how graphene conducts electricity could prompt its use as a broadband light detector. A research team at MIT found that changing the concentration of electrons in a...
Highest Conversion Efficiency Reached
First Solar Inc. announced it has set a record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic research cell conversion efficiency. The record has been documented in the U.S. Department of...
Light Used to Measure Surface Vibrations
A technique that passively monitors light intensity modulation is able to measure the physical and optical properties of a vibrating surface. A team from the University of Louisville, in...
Metasurface Switches Polarization More Efficiently
An ultrathin metasurface can alter light polarization with 50 percent efficiency, hinting at future microscale devices for controlling light. A team from the University of Michigan and its...
Hydrogen Prevents UV Damage in Optical Fiber
Hydrogen can fortify optical fibers, making them capable of sustained transmission of high-intensity UV light. A team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology created the new...
IR Sensor Provides 'Virtual Touch' for Blind
An IR sensor and the concept of virtual touch could help the visually impaired take on many day-to-day activities. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati used an Enactive Torch, a...
NASA to Study Incoming, Outgoing Arctic Light
A new NASA mission will examine Arctic sea ice loss and cloud formation in part by measuring incoming solar and outgoing IR radiation. Called Arctic Radiation IceBridge Sea and Ice...
Synchrotron Light Sources, FTIR Advance Space-Dust Study
Synchrotron light sources have helped researchers discover that interstellar space dust is more complex in composition and structure than previously thought. Researchers from the Argonne,...
Spectroscopy Tests for Best Organic Photovoltaics
Spectroscopy may provide a way to identify materials for organic photovoltaics based on their charge formation efficiency. In a recent study of organic solar cells, a team at the University...
Imaging Shows Bubbles Could Make Energy-Efficient Nanoparticles
High-speed cameras and UV-sensitive materials are helping advance understanding of bubbles — which could mean big things for nanoparticles. In fact, a system in which bubbles mix...
Semi-Artificial Photovoltaics Surpassing Photosynthesis
Semi-artificial leaves could function as photovoltaic systems, and with unprecedented performance. In leaves, the membrane protein complex photosystem I (PS I) absorbs light, and its energy...

Oclaro Ends FY14 in Black After Business Unit Sales
After selling business segments for a total of about $120 million, optical communications firm Oclaro Inc. ended its fiscal year June 28 with earnings of $17.8 million, an improvement over its fiscal 2013 net loss of $122.7 million. The company’s fourth-quarter result, however, was a net loss of $24 million, which compares to a net loss of $22.9 million in the previous quarter and...
Inrad Unsurprised By Q2 Results
Inrad Optics Inc. reported a net loss of $1.0 million in the second quarter of 2014, compared to a net loss of $648,000 in the second quarter of 2013. Revenue for the second quarter was $2.2...
Synopsys Names Optical Design Contest Winners
Xinda Hu of the University of Arizona, and University of Rochester students Anthony Vella, Aaron Bauer and Nicolas Brown are the winners of Synopsis Inc.’s Robert S. Hilbert Memorial Optical...
North American Machine Vision Sales Grow
Machine vision sales in North America increased 11 percent to $1.04 billion in the first half of 2014, according to the trade group AIA. Component sales grew 28 percent to $155 million, and...
LightPath Caps ‘Year of Investment’
LightPath Technologies Inc. closed the books June 30 on fiscal 2014 with a net loss of $313,000 following what it called “a year of investment in our future.” The loss compared...
Intel Silicon Photonics Group Wins OSA Award
OSA has recognized Intel Corp.’s Silicon Photonics Solutions Group with the 2014 Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award. The team received the award for its more than 12...
JDSU to Split in Two
JDSU plans to separate into two publicly-traded companies, a move it says will help it keep pace with the changing telecommunications and cloud network markets. “We believe two...
3 Questions Interview
JDSU of Milpitas, Calif., recently won The Optical Society’s second annual Enabled by Optics competition for the company’s laser light source for 3-D sensing technologies. For...
LED, Microscopy Pioneers Earn Nobels In Physics, Chemistry
Photonics enjoyed a brighter global spotlight than usual last month, as both the physics and chemistry Nobel prizes were awarded to recognize significant advances in light-based technologies: blue...
Finisar reports revenue growth, predicts slowdown
Fiber optics firm Finisar Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif., reported its eighth consecutive quarter of revenue growth, but said clients’ ordering practices could bring the streak to an end. ...
Photronics Earnings Lower in Third Quarter
Photomask firm Photronics Inc. of Brookfield, Conn., reported earnings of $4.2 million in the third quarter of its fiscal year, which ended Aug. 3. The result represented a 28 percent...

Fluorescence Lifetime Measurement Enhances Recycling
Sorting plastics using fluorescence lifetime measurement could simplify and speed up the recycling process. Developed by a team from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the technique takes advantage of the intrinsic fluorescence properties found in different polymers under photoexcitation. “Plastics emit fluorescent light when exposed to a brief flash of light, and the...

Spectroscopy, Cameras to Help Explore the Red Planet
When author H.G. Wells wrote his two-volume The Outline of History in 1920, his eyes turned upward, once again, toward space. “Life,” he wrote, “for ever dying to be born afresh, for ever young and eager, will presently stand upon this earth as upon a footstool, and stretch out its realm amidst the stars.” He couldn’t have been more right. And in 2020, a few...

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Multispectral Imaging System
The Cloud Cap Technology TASE500 from UTC Aerospace Systems is a small, lightweight camera system for aeronautical imaging applications. The HD imaging system has an optimized lens design...
UTC Aerospace Systems, ISR Systems
IR Detectors
The Daphnis 10 µ Pitch IR Detector from Sofradir provides image resolution that increases the range capability of military thermal imaging equipment, while not increasing its overall size. ...
Infrared LEDs
The new Oslon Black SFH 4715A and SFH 4716A infrared LEDs from Osram Opto Semiconductors offer high optical efficiency for security applications. The 4715A requires reduced cooling, which...
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, Inc.
Thermal Imaging Monoscope
The MiniScope X-See from Senso Optics is an uncooled thermal imaging monoscope based on an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). The X-See features a 31.2° horizontal ×...
Senso Optics
Measurement Modules
New plug-in modules from Apex Technologies can be used to build a multi-function test and measurement platform. Modules include distributed feedback lasers (AP3390), erbium-doped fiber...
Apex Technologies
Positioning Driver
New Focus offers a new two-axis driver for Newport's Agilis OEM piezomotor-driven nanopositioners. The 58 × 40 × 15-mm driver card can be mounted directly onto a printed circuit...
New Focus
Optical Coatings
Laser-damage threshold coatings from Evaporated Optics Inc. are designed for use with wavelengths from 300 to 2500 nm. Both highly reflective and antireflective coatings are manufactured to...
Evaporated Coatings, Inc.
3-D Camera Tools
Chromasen’s 3-D Camera Toolkit calibrates data and corrects image color using the company’s 3DPIXA camera. The toolkit obtains data in real time using graphic boards, integrating...
Chromasens GmbH
CMOS Image Sensor
The T4KA3 from Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. enables high-performance image capture and video recording for handheld mobile devices. The T4KA3 is a 1.12 µm, 8-megapixel...
Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc.
The Owl 640 M42 from Raptor Photonics Ltd. is a digital camera that captures visible and shortwave infrared light. Using a 640 × 512 InGaAs sensor, the Owl offers visible extension...
Raptor Photonics Ltd.
Photodiode for EUV
A new photodiode from Opto Diode Corp. is suited for high-power laser monitoring at wavelengths from 1 to 200 nm and other applications involving extreme ultraviolet conditions. The SXUV...
Opto Diode Corporation
Slow-Axis Collimator
The Slow Axis Collimator from Edmund Optics features a monolithic array of cylindrical lenses, designed to collimate the individual emitters of a laser bar. It has a numerical aperture of...
Edmund Optics, Inc.
QCL Controller
A new quantum cascade laser controller by ILX Lightwave Corp. combines a precision current source with an integrated 128-W thermoelectric temperature controller. The LDC-3736 features...
ILX Lightwave Corp.
Laser Beamsplitters
Combining a compact, portable design with high power ranges, the LBS-400 laser beamsplitter from Ophir Photonics controls and adjusts the output power of large beams. The device measures UV,...
Ophir - Spiricon LLC, Photonics
Sapphire Optics
Featuring Mohs 9 hardness, sapphire optics from Meller Optics Inc. can withstand deep water pressure up to 10,000 psi for outboard applications on undersea vehicles. Sapphire optics have a...
Meller Optics, Inc.
Label Inspection
The Label Unwrap system from Olmec Ltd. is a line-scan-based vision system for inspection of labels on over-the-counter health care product bottles. The system rotates bottles 360° in...
Olmec Ltd.
Toroidal Mirrors
Planoconvex and planoconcave toroidal mirrors for pinpoint focusing in spectroscopic and imaging applications are offered by Optical Surfaces Ltd. The mirrors have two different radii, whose axes are...
Optical Surfaces Ltd.
Optical Cables
New all-optical fiber cables from Corning Inc. can withstand bending, squeezing and tangling without damage or loss of function. With an electrically isolated noise-reducing design, the...
Corning Inc., Optical Fiber Headquarters
High-Resolution Spectrometer
A new spectrometer system from McPherson offers picometer resolution capability for UV, visible and IR applications. The Model 209’s 1.3-m focal length with micro-step drive can make...
Thermal Imaging Core
The Muon from Flir Systems Inc. is a thermal imaging core for volume OEMs that integrate uncooled focal-plane arrays (FPAs) into their own camera solutions. Muon is based on Flir’s...
FLIR Precision Optics
Laser Illumination System
The SI-LUX640 laser illumination system by Specialized Imaging improves the accuracy and sensitivity of high-speed imaging systems. Based on pulsed high-power diode laser illumination...
Specialised Imaging Inc.
Direct-Drive Linear Motor
The new direct-drive linear motor with built-in linear optical quadrature encoder from MotiCont eliminates backlash and provides high acceleration and speed. The SDLM-051 offers...
Image Search Engine
A next-generation image search engine, the Huygens Titan software from Scientific Volume Imaging can index, find and display 2-D, 3-D, 4-D and 5-D microscopic image data. Huygens Titan can...
Scientific Volume Imaging
Optical Processor
The WaveShaper 16000 from Finisar Corp. is a programmable optical processor covering the entire C-band of optical communications. The WaveShaper allows switching and filtering of optical...
Finisar Corp.
Methane-Detection Camera
The Hyper-Cam Methane from Telops is a hyperspectral imaging camera for detecting, identifying and quantifying small quantities of methane. The device allows mapping of atmospheric methane...
Telops Inc.
Gas-Flow Cells
New fiber-coupled gas-flow cells from Wavelength References Inc. are suited for UV to mid-infrared spectroscopy. The FCM-10 and FCM-40 feature enclosures with pressure handling capabilities...
Wavelength References
IQ Modulator
The indium phosphide (InP) dual-polarization IQ modulator from TeraXion is suited for 100- and 400-Gb/s long-haul and metro fiber optic networks. The modulator enables 100 Gb/s...
TeraXion Inc.
Galvanometer Drivers
New galvanometer drivers from Scanlab AG have lower inertia for precision laser positioning. The drives are equipped with lightweight beryllium mirrors and a 14-mm aperture. The positioning...
Frame Grabber Software
Supporting the Cyton CXP family of frame grabbers, the SDK 5.90 software development kit from Bitflow customizes the end-user experience in next-generation CoaXPress vision environments. SDK...
BitFlow, Inc.
LED Work Light
The EPL-PM-150LED-24V-100 explosion-proof LED by Larson Electronics can illuminate up to 10,000 square feet of work space. It is mounted within an A-frame portable stand made of...
Larson Electronics LLC
Chassis Camera
Designed for OEMs and integrators, the Vinden CZ 640 chassis camera from Sierra-Olympic Technologies is an uncooled, continuous-zoom camera that provides LWIR thermal imaging. The camera has...
Sierra Olympic Technologies, Inc. (SOTI)
Mirror Tilting System
A new two-axis tilting system from piezosystem jena offers precise positioning of optical components like mirrors or prisms at up to several hundred Hertz. The PSH25 OEM accommodates...
piezosystem jena GmbH
UAV Hyperspectral Imager
An ultracompact version of its precursor, the OCI-UAV hyperspectral imager from BaySpec acquires VIS-NIR hyperspectral data with continuous spectral and spatial coverage. The OCI-UAV...
BaySpec, Inc.
Ice Sensor
A new optical ice sensor from New Avionics Corp. allows automated monitoring inside industrial HVAC cooling towers. The Ice*Meister Model 9734-HVAC bright blue LED signals a data logging...
New Avionics Corp.

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