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Extreme Missions Call for Innovative Optics

EuroPhotonics
Sep 2018
JUSTINE MURPHY, SENIOR EDITOR, justine.murphy@photonics.com

Large telescopes, such as the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) and other similar technologies, are taking us into the outer reaches of the universe at hyperspeed, continually offering new clarity and insights.

Now in development at the European Southern Observatory site in Chile, the ELT is designed to provide images more than 16 times sharper than those presented by the Hubble Space Telescope. The ELT also will be able to correct fully adaptive and diffraction-limited atmospheric distortions. Its development is moving swiftly — it’s on track to begin operations in just five years — so the optics behind it must keep pace. The same is true for all other similar space exploration technology in the pipeline.

In our cover story (read article), Contributing Editor Hank Hogan examines the optics and optical components that are helping enhance space exploration and how their rapid progression will affect future advancement.

Also in this issue:

• EPIC Insights examines single-mode and multimode fiber optics and their role in the swift growth of data center traffic. EPIC’s Ana Belén González Guerrero and Jose Pozo note that this has been prompted by a continual increase in the number of users and the amount of content being exchanged. Such fiber optics are proving to be a more efficient option, outshining standard copper technology (read article).

• In “Tunable Laser Light Sources Advance Nanophotonics Research,” Jaroslaw Sperling and Korbinian Hens of HÜBNER Photonics discuss the role tunable laser light sources — namely, optical parametric oscillator technology — are playing in nanophotonics research. This type of technology is becoming a viable alternative to traditional lasers in areas such as molecular physics and quantum nanophotonics (read article).

• Achieving an easy-to-use, cost-effective machine vision tool to improve the efficiency and information yield in such areas as aircraft dent inspection can be as simple as deviating from traditional 3D optical metrology equipment. In “Application-Specific Machine Vision Simplifies Aircraft Maintenance,” 8tree’s Howard Chung, Pia Böttcher, and Erik Klaas examine equipment design and the challenges it is helping to overcome (read article).

Enjoy the issue!

EditorialJustine Murphy

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