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Test & Measurement Articles

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Scatter and BSDF Measurements: Theory and PracticeScatter and BSDF Measurements: Theory and Practice
Richard Pfisterer, Photon Engineering LLC
Except for direct illumination from the sun, laser, or other light source, everything we see or detect is ultimately scattered light. Light can be scattered or rescattered during its propagation to...
Measuring Aspheres: Selecting the Best TechniqueMeasuring Aspheres: Selecting the Best Technique
Amy Frantz, Edmund Optics Inc.
The benefits of aspheric lenses are numerous: They allow for a reduction in spherical aberrations and are ideal for focusing or collimating light, as they can achieve a low ƒ-number. Aspheres...
Measuring Surface Roughness: The Benefits of Laser Confocal MicroscopyMeasuring Surface Roughness: The Benefits of Laser Confocal Microscopy
ROBERT BELLINGER, Evident
When evaluating the surface of a component, surface roughness can be assessed by eye or by rubbing it with a fingertip. Common expressions include “shiny,” “lusterless and...
Measuring Small-Beam MFD: Overcoming the ChallengesMeasuring Small-Beam MFD: Overcoming the Challenges
DERRICK PETERMAN, PhD, MKS Ophir
Profiling beams under 10 µm in size is one of the more challenging beam profiling applications. There are numerous reasons for this, including the very small size. Focal plane arrays commonly...
Laser Measurement Systems: Best PracticesLaser Measurement Systems: Best Practices
JOHN MCCAULEY, MKS Ophir
Given the pace at which technology advances, there always seems to be a learning curve. With the abundance of consumer electronics available, there typically is no right or wrong way to use these...
Aspheric Lenses: Optimizing the DesignAspheric Lenses: Optimizing the Design
Jeremy Govier, Edmund Optics Inc.
With the understanding of aspheric lens manufacturing provided in part one of this article, designers have the tools to optimize their aspheres; the next step is to understand how to specify and...
Understanding Surface Quality: A Practical GuideUnderstanding Surface Quality: A Practical Guide
John C. Smith, Rocky Mountain Instrument Co. (RMI)
Surface quality has become one of the most poorly understood specifications in the optics industry. A significant portion of the confusion stems from the two major competing (and largely...
Interferometry: Measuring with LightInterferometry: Measuring with Light
Zygo Corporation
An interferometer is an instrument that compares the position or surface structure of two objects. The basic two-beam division of amplitude interferometer components consists of a light source, a...
Integrating Spheres: Collecting and Uniformly Distributing LightIntegrating Spheres: Collecting and Uniformly Distributing Light
Greg McKee, Labsphere Inc.
An integrating sphere’s function is to spatially integrate radiant flux (light). However, before one can optimize a sphere design for a particular application, it is important to understand how...
Optical Delay Lines: Key to Time-Resolved MeasurementsOptical Delay Lines: Key to Time-Resolved Measurements
MKS/Newport
One of the most critical elements of any time-resolved spectroscopy and dynamics experiment is the optical delay line. A typical optical delay line consists of a retroreflector or folding mirrors on...
Photometry: The Answer to How Light Is PerceivedPhotometry: The Answer to How Light Is Perceived
Photo Research, Inc.
That portion of the spectrum that the eye can see — and its rainbow of colors — is rather small, covering approximately 360 to 830 nm. What colors we perceive depends on wavelength, while...
Laser Beam Measurement: Slit-Based Profilers for Pulsed BeamsLaser Beam Measurement: Slit-Based Profilers for Pulsed Beams
Allen M. Cary, Photon Inc.
Measuring pulsed-beam lasers has generally required the use of a CCD array profiler. This is a reasonable solution for low-power lasers in the UV and visible wavelength range, but these require...
Quantifying Light: Intensity, Uniformity Hold the KeyQuantifying Light: Intensity, Uniformity Hold the Key
Steven Giamundo, Fiberoptics Technology, Inc.
Intensity and uniformity can be described using different physical attributes, which makes interpreting requirements somewhat confusing. This article intends to provide an explanation and serve as a...
Broadband Spectrophotometry: A Fast, Simple, Accurate ToolBroadband Spectrophotometry: A Fast, Simple, Accurate Tool
Iris Bloomer, n&k Technology, Inc.; Rebecca Mirsky, Al Shugart International
Designing devices that incorporate ultrathin films is an important means of enhancing yields. However, characterizing ultrathin films provides a challenge for mainstream metrology tools such as...
Radiometry: A Simplified Description of Light MeasurementRadiometry: A Simplified Description of Light Measurement
Angelo V. Arecchi, Labsphere, Inc.
Radiometry involves several activities. The two most common are the description and measurement of optical radiation, and, starting with the knowledge of some aspects of optical radiation at one...
Imaging Colorimetry: Accuracy in Display and Light Source MetrologyImaging Colorimetry: Accuracy in Display and Light Source Metrology
Ron Rykowski and Hubert Kostal, Radiant Imaging, Inc.
The market for flat panel displays (FPDs) has undergone tremendous growth, driven mostly by increased demand for televisions, cell phones, computers, digital cameras and MP3 players. Similarly,...
Spectroscopy: The Tools of the TradeSpectroscopy: The Tools of the Trade
Dr. John R. Gilchrist, Clyde HSI
All optical spectrometry techniques rely on the measurement of radiant power. The configuration of the instrument varies based on the measurement technique: absorption, emission, luminescence, or...
Dynamic Interferometry: Getting Rid of the JittersDynamic Interferometry: Getting Rid of the Jitters
John Hayes and James Millerd, 4D Technology Corporation
Conditions on the factory floor and in industrial cleanrooms with high-capacity air filtration systems can hamper the use of interferometry. Another problem is the testing of large-aperture mirrors...
Colorimetry: How to Measure Color DifferencesColorimetry: How to Measure Color Differences
Konica Minolta Sensing Americas Inc.
The use and importance of colorimetry has grown in unison with the increase of global manufacturing and processing. When plastic automotive trim produced on one continent must match a painted metal...
NSOM: Discovering New WorldsNSOM: Discovering New Worlds
M. Kovar, Midako A. Nohe, N.O. Petersen and P.R. Norton, University of Western Ontario
NSOM is suitable for studies on the mesoscopic scale (several tens to hundreds of molecular dimensions). It has become an important tool in research and applications of semiconductors, organic layers...
Particle Image Velocimetry: Basics, Developments and TechniquesParticle Image Velocimetry: Basics, Developments and Techniques
M. Kelnberger, InnoLas GmbH; G. Schwitzgebel, Universität Mainz
Particle image velocimetry (PIV) is an experimental tool in fluid mechanics and aerodynamics. The basic principle involves photographic recording of the motion of microscopic particles that follow...
Spectroscopy: Mastering the TechniquesSpectroscopy: Mastering the Techniques
Dr. John R. Gilchrist, Clyde HSI
The scope of optical spectroscopic instrumentation is indeed very broad. Many analytical methods rely on the interaction of radiation with matter and are often described in the context of quantum and...
Spectrum Analysis for DWDM: New Instruments Meet the ChallengeSpectrum Analysis for DWDM: New Instruments Meet the Challenge
Francis Audet, EXFO
As system and cable installers try to optimize their links, the preferred method has become high-speed DWDM. This demand for bandwidth has led to the development of new test and measurement...
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