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The evolution continues

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Over time in optics or any other industry, parallel research and development tracks in areas such as lasers, sensors, and lenses will come together to create a stronger end product. The same is true in publishing: EuroPhotonics has become a special section within select issues of our sister publication Photonics Spectra. European print subscribers to both publications will still receive the insights they’ve come to expect. Digital subscribers will still see the EuroPhotonics format they are used to. Readers will continue to learn about groundbreaking research and development in optical technologies at use in science and industry.

DOUGLAS FARMER, SENIOR EDITOREuroPhotonics was first published in the autumn of 1996 by Laurin Publishing Co., with a heavy focus on products and their applications within the ever-growing photonics field in Europe. Contents were listed in English, German, French, and Italian and spotlighted optical technology at use on the manufacturing floor and on display at trade shows. EuroPhotonics was — and still is — useful for people working in industries such as aerospace and aviation, communications, microscopy, robotics, and automotive.

One of the great dichotomies within the photonics industry is the ever-present push to provide image clarity and resolution at smaller and smaller levels, while having larger and larger impacts on industrial processes and laboratory research. In this spring edition of EuroPhotonics, authors explain how this reality manifests itself in wafer-level optics, laser deposition welding, and lidar. Projecting an image to and from smaller and smaller spaces improves not only measurement but also efficiency in production and enables greater certainty that the final product is exactly what the end user needs.

In our cover story, authors Martin Eibelhuber, Robert Breyer, and Mikhail Begel of EV Group discuss how the markets for autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, security, and biomedicine have necessitated the production of optical systems that are miniaturized. Historically, optical systems were bulky, providing sensors for the defense and scientific markets. But as the techniques of lens molding and nanoimprint lithography have been improved, lenses have become mass-producible and able to be pressed on glass wafers. Read more about these developments.

Author Barbara Stumpp outlines new advancements in laser deposition welding and pulsed radiation. She explains that laser welding of wire allows for more precision in connections and better fusion of metals, producing less pooling and lessening the appearance of cracks during the welding process. With modulation of the pulse, the likelihood that overheating will affect the overall quality of the resulting connection is reduced. Read about the drive to move this process into the marketplace.

And faithful readers of the “EPIC Insights” column will learn about how ubiquitous the use of lidar has become in such everyday applications as luggage handling, parcel delivery, and robotics, among others. Authors Elena Beletkaia and Jose Pozo explore how the automotive industry has built up the demand for solid-state lidar in scalable and reliable forms for many types of parts. This need will only grow, they say, as autonomous cars become commercially available and emergency departments look to upgrade their fleets of vehicles.

Enjoy the issue!

Spring 2020

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