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Leonardo DRS Secures Army Contract; ZEISS Microscopy Strikes Contract: Week in Brief: 10/14/2022

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ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 14, 2022 — ARLINGTON, Va. — Leonardo DRS received a contract to produce its next-generation thermal weapon sights for the U.S. Army. The firm fixed-price contract from the U.S. Army Contracting Command is valued at $579 million over five years. The Leonado DRS Electro-Optical Infrared Systems (EOIS) business will produce advanced Family of Weapons Sights - Individual (FWS-I) systems for its U.S. Army customer. Using DRS’ uncooled thermal imaging technology, FWS-I is a stand-alone clip-on weapon sight that connects wirelessly to helmet-mounted vision systems.

BETHESDA, Md. — Lockheed Martin and Ayar Labs established a strategic collaboration to develop future sensory platforms that leverage Ayar Labs’ advanced optical input/output (I/O) microchips to transfer data, at a lower latency, and at a fraction of the power of existing electrical I/O solutions. The platforms could be used across Department of Defense applications to capture, digitize, transport, and process spectral information.

QUEBEC CITY — EXFO, a specialist in test, monitoring, and analytics for the communications industry, acquired photonics integrated circuit (PIC) and system automation company EHVA. The acquisition accelerates EXFO’s capabilities in PIC testing, enabling the delivery of automated, turnkey end-to-end testing of optical components from lab applications to high-volume and high-speed manufacturing.

OBERKOCHEN, Germany — The ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SMT) segment will build a multifunction factory in Dillfeld, Wetzlar, Germany, in addition to the existing SMT site. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2023. The extension building will provide space for around 150 employees who will manufacture deep ultraviolet lithography systems.
Conceptual image of the multifunctional factory building to be built in Wetzlar, Germany. Courtesy of ZEISS.
Conceptual image of the multifunctional factory building to be built in Wetzlar, Germany. Courtesy of ZEISS. 

BOSTON — Metalenz, a developer of metasurface optics for high-performance 3D sensing solutions, closed a $30 million series B funding round led by Neotribe Ventures. The funding will be used to meet the growing demand for the company’s existing 3D Sensor metasurface optics while simultaneously accelerating the market introduction of its polarization sensing platform PolarEyes. The round also saw participation from Foothill Ventures, M Ventures, Intel Capital, and others.

CHANDLER, Ariz. — Test, measurement, and assurance technology solutions developer VIAVI Solutions acquired Jackson Labs Technologies, a developer and supplier of position, navigation, and timing solutions for critical infrastructure serving both military and civilian applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

MCLEAN, Va. —  NASA Goddard Space Flight Center awarded a contract to SpaceLink, a company that provides secure on-demand data relay from any orbit, to study how commercial optical ground terminals will integrate into the Near Space Network. The funded study includes a demonstration of end-to-end transport of multisource data at the SpaceLink gateway in the Mojave Desert.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Carl Zeiss Microscopy LLC entered into an agreement with Ultivue Inc. to co-market Ultivue’s multiplex biomarkers assays for tissue phenotyping with the ZEISS Axioscan whole slide imaging system for data acquisition and analysis. The partnership aims to offer a streamlined solution from tissue preparation to image acquisition and analysis for applications in cancer biology, immunology, and drug development for researchers in academia, biotech, pharma, and clinical research organizations. The agreement builds on an existing six-year collaboration between the companies.

Tonsil stained with Ultivue’s FixVUE Immuno8 panel and scanned using a ZEISS Axioscan. Courtesy of ZEISS.
Tonsil stained with Ultivue’s FixVUE Immuno8 panel and scanned using a ZEISS Axioscan. Courtesy of ZEISS.

MAITLAND, Fla. — Laser systems developer Laser Photonics Corp. received an order from the U.S. Navy for delivery of an LPC-1000CTH CleanTech Laser Blasting System with an integrated water chiller for submarine maintenance, repair, and operations. The delivery is to be made this month. The CleanTech Handheld LPC-1000CTH is a 1000-W hand-held laser cleaner. Laser Photonics Corp. closed its initial IPO on the Nasdaq Oct. 4.

LONDON — High-speed connectivity solutions provider Alphawave IP acquired Israel-based optical digital signal processing (DSP) chip developer Banias Labs in a deal worth approximately $240 million. The acquisition strengthens Alphawave’s roadmap of optical DSP silicon products for data centers, which it identifies as a core high-growth market. Alongside the acquisition, Alphawave reported that it negotiated a nonbinding, multiyear purchasing framework with a leading North American hyperscaler that proposes a multiyear roadmap for Alphawave to develop and sell a portfolio of optical products and DSPs, including coherent DSP technology from Banias Labs. Sales pertaining to the framework could ramp up to $300 million, according to Alphawave.

SAN DIEGO — ONI, a single-molecule imaging platform biotech, formed a research collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania that aims to enhance the understanding of chimeric antigen t-cell (CAR-T) therapies using superresolution microscopy, identifying predictive biomarkers and characteristics related to CAR-T treatment efficacy and safety. ONI’s flagship product, the Nanoimager, allows researchers to visualize living cells and track how single molecules interact. According to the company, with a resolution down to 20 nm, representing a tenfold improvement over traditional microscopy, the presence and distribution of these biomarkers on CAR-T and tumor cells from patient samples can be quantified. The University of Pennsylvania developed the first CAR-T therapy approved by the FDA.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Lumentum expanded its manufacturing operations and advanced R&D in Škofljica, Slovenia, for specialty optical fibers, which are essential components in many of the company’s products. The company’s facility includes a Center of Excellence for advanced R&D to develop fundamental laser component technology in addition to products. The 137,000-sq-ft site expansion more than doubles Lumentum’s manufacturing and R&D footprint in Slovenia.

IRVINE, Calif. — HORIBA Group opened the HORIBA Institute for Mobility and Connectivity2 (HIMaC2), a research facility at the University of California, Irvine. The institute is a part of the Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) at UCI, which will focus on the future of zero-emission vehicles, connected and autonomous vehicle technology, and the integration of the energy and transportation sectors to improve both the environment and people’s lives. HORIBA pledged $9 million to establish and support the HIMaC2 in 2018.

CALABASAS, Calif. — Spirent Communications, a provider of test and assurance solutions for next-generation devices and networks, collaborated with Nokia on a public demonstration to demonstrate 800G interoperability in data center environments. The demonstration featured Nokia generating 1.6 Tbit/s of data through two Nokia 7750 SR series routers using 800G QSFP-DD DR8 optical transceivers.
Oct 2022
A sub-field of photonics that pertains to an electronic device that responds to optical power, emits or modifies optical radiation, or utilizes optical radiation for its internal operation. Any device that functions as an electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducer. Electro-optic often is used erroneously as a synonym.
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