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From the Battlefield to The Boulevard

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2017
MICHAEL D. WHEELER, MANAGING EDITOR, michael.wheeler@photonics.com

Think duct tape, the ubiquitous fix-all. Or EpiPens, the auto-injecting, life-saving epinephrine syringes, which first appeared on the battlefield to protect troops from chemical and nerve agents. Amazing inventions that are barely the tip of the iceberg of military innovations that have found their way into our daily lives.

Mike WheelerThe latest hand-me-down really turns a corner. Lidar platforms — developed first by the military — are being adopted by the commercial sector with the rise of autonomous vehicles and driver assistance. While commercialization of military-grade technologies generally forces cost reductions through process optimization and other means, the stringent requirements of autonomous vehicles — inasmuch as driver safety is at stake — demand performance specs more closely aligned with the ones originally set forth by the military. Read how this is impacting sensor, emitter and package design in our cover story, “Military-Standard Lidar Driving Advances in Autonomous Vehicles,” (read article) by Excelitas Technologies’ Denis Boudreau.

Elsewhere in this edition:

• CMOS sensor revenue is set to see an increase of $1.83 billion from 2015 to 2020 according to IC Insights. Find out what’s driving this increase in Mark Butler’s “Sensor Market Set to Soar” (read article).

• Ultrafast lasers have the capacity to transform ceramics into room-temperature semiconductors. Other exciting applications include deep tissue imaging and improved radar performance. Be sure to read “For Ultrafast Photonics, New Applications Emerge,” (read article) by Contributing Editor Hank Hogan.

• Two-dimensional spectroscopy offers unique structural and dynamic information about material systems, namely molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) monolayers and perovskite films, which are of particular interest to the photonics industry. Coherent Inc.’s Marco Arrigoni and Joseph Henrich offer details in “2D Spectroscopy Simplified,” (read article).

• When it comes to laser machining at the nanoscale, challenges include minimizing the heat-affected zone and achieving high machining throughput. Combining diode-pumped, solid-state and fiber laser technologies opens up new possibilities. Don’t miss Herman Chui and Raj Patel’s “Hybrid Fiber Lasers Raise the Bar for Precision Manufacturing,” (read article).

Finally, the military is pretty good at recognizing personal achievement, and we have borrowed a page from its playbook to bring you this year’s Beacons honorees, featuring two new categories: “leaders” and “industry advocates.” Included in this year’s class are company founders, inventors, conference organizers and those who’ve worked to develop the next generation of industry leaders. Read the honoree profiles as compiled by the Photonics Media editorial team, (read article).

Enjoy the issue!

EditorialMike Wheeler

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