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Photonics News: Week in Brief: 12/10/21

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ORO VALLEY, Ariz. — Leonardo Electronics US Inc. (LEI), a provider of next-generation technologies for defense and commercial applications and a U.S. subsidiary of Leonardo, will expand its regional presence in the Oro Valley, north of Tucson. The company purchased 12 acres in Innovation Park, where it plans to build a state-of-the art semiconductor laser manufacturing facility. The new location will comprise approximately 120,000 sq ft of manufacturing and administrative offices. Construction is expected to begin next year.
A rendering of the new facility. Courtesy of Leonardo Electronics.
A rendering of the new facility. Courtesy of Leonardo Electronics.

BOSTON — Global technology investment firm Battery Ventures acquired LI-COR Biosciences, a developer of instrumentation systems for environmental research, agriculture, drug discovery, protein research, and therapeutics development. Thomas Reslewic, a current Battery Ventures executive-in-residence who previously served as group president for two business units within Teledyne Technologies, will become LI-COR CEO. Current LI-COR CEO Greg Biggs will transition to an advisory role. 

PARIS — French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly announced at the Defense Innovation Forum the testing of a laser-based optical communication system between a nano-satellite and a compact and transportable ground station, reportedly a world’s first. The Keraunos project seeks to test an innovative high-speed optical communication link between a 10-kg nano-satellite and a compact ground station. The project is led by French startups Unseenlabs and Cailabs. The satellite is scheduled to launch in late 2022. The Defense Innovation Agency is providing €5.5 million (~$6.21 million) for the project.

MUNICH — Blickfeld, a startup focused on high-performance and mass-producible lidar technology, has extended the company’s Series A funding to $31 million after winning New Future Capital, a private equity firm that provides growth capital, primarily in Asia, North America, and Europe, as an investor. Further, all existing investors participated in the round, including Bayern Kapital, Continental, Fluxunit-ams ORSRAM Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Tengelmann Ventures, and UVC Partners. The financing will support the opening of offices in North America and Asia.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Quantum computing company IonQ will use barium ions as qubits in its systems, which it believes will provide numerous advantages in areas such as speed, power, connectivity, and reliability. Barium qubits are controlled primarily with visible, as opposed to ultraviolet, light, which allows IonQ to build future quantum computers with standard silicon photonics technology. The technology also allows easier networking, enabling modular systems that quickly scale qubit counts.

DITZINGEN, Germany — TRUMPF is building an education and training center at its headquarters in Ditzingen, Germany. The three-story building is being built on the site of the old education center and will provide space for the increasing number of apprentices and dual-studies students. The facility will house a large event space for up to 400 people and for digitally networked production. It will also house seminar rooms, workshops, and creative and collaboration areas. TRUMPF is funding the facility’s construction with approximately €14.5 million (~$16.27 million). It is expected to begin operations in the spring of 2023.
Exterior view of the new TRUMPF Education Center. Courtesy of TRUMPF
Exterior view of the new TRUMPF Education Center. Courtesy of TRUMPF.

ORLANDO, Fla. — LightPath Technologies was awarded a grant by the European Space Agency to further develop chalcogenide materials for use in space applications as an alternative to germanium crystals currently in use. LightPath’s subsidiary in Latvia, ISP Optics, will evaluate and compare the properties of the chalcogenide glass coated with antireflective coating with the same type of parts manufactured from germanium to validate the use in space applications. The funding will be used to develop chalcogenide glass materials, such as its Black Diamond (BD6), to replace germanium in space imaging and communication systems. Germanium oxide is a rare material, primarily derived from large deposits of fossil germanium in China and Russia.

BARRINGTON, N.J. — TRUMPF Laser Technology partnered with Edmund Optics to enhance global access to its TruPulse nano fiber lasers. Edmund Optics has therefore been named as an authorized global distributer.

WALLINGFORD, Conn. — Amphenol Corp. acquired Halo Technology Ltd. for approximately $715 million. Halo, headquartered in Tustin, Calif., is a provider of active and passive fiber optic interconnect components for the communications infrastructure markets with expected 2021 sales of around $250 million.  

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Rebus Biosystems acquired the intellectual property and related assay assets of EEL Transcriptomics AB, a privately held company focused on high-plex spatial transcriptomics with single-cell resolution. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PARIS — Trescal, a calibration services provider, acquired Cleanroom Management International (CMI) in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands, and Aviatronik in Italy. The two companies add €13 million (~$14.68 million) in total sales and over 100 calibration experts to the group.

Photonics.com
Dec 2021
GLOSSARY
optical communications
The transmission and reception of information by optical devices and sensors.
lidar
An acronym of light detection and ranging, describing systems that use a light beam in place of conventional microwave beams for atmospheric monitoring, tracking and detection functions. Ladar, an acronym of laser detection and ranging, uses laser light for detection of speed, altitude, direction and range; it is often called laser radar.
quantum
Smallest amount into which the energy of a wave can be divided. The quantum is proportional to the frequency of the wave. See photon.
BusinesslasersopticsBiophotonicsFacilityLeonardo ElectronicsLi-Cor BiosciencesFranceCommunicationsoptical communicationsspacelidarBlickfeldquantumIonQTrumpfLightPath TechnologieschalcogenideAmphenol CorporationRebus BiosystemsTrescal

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