Photonics

Beam Steering Developer’s Kit

New Scale Technologies Inc. (Victor, NY) has a new beam steering developer’s kit for precise point-to-point beam positioning and dynamic scanning up to 100 Hz. The two piezoelectric rotary stages in the DK-M3-RS-U-2M-20-L developer’s kit have a galvo-scanner form factor but are only 12 mm in diameter. A closed-loop controller embedded in each tiny stage enables direct input of high-level motion commands from a system processor via standard digital (I2C, SPI, UART) or analog servo interface. Each smart stage rotates a pre-mounted aluminum-coated mirror +/- 20 degrees at up to 1100 degrees/second with angular resolution of 0.05 degrees (1 mrad).

Posted in: Products, Lasers & Laser Systems
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Compact UV Lasers Could Spot Dangerous Substances from a Distance

For soldiers in the field, the ability to identify an object or substance based on how it responds to light could mean the difference between life and death. They could, for example, determine from a safe distance if an approaching person or vehicle is carrying an explosive device or dangerous biological agent.

Posted in: News, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems
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Compact UV Lasers Could ID Substances from a Distance

For soldiers in the field, the ability to identify an object or substance based on how it responds to light could mean the difference between life and death. They could, for example, determine from a safe distance if an approaching person or vehicle is carrying an explosive device or dangerous biological agent.

Posted in: News, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems
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EOS and MTU Advance Quality Measures for Metal-Based Additive Manufacturing

EOS and MTU Aero Engines have partnered to develop quality-assurance measures for metal engine components using additive manufacturing (AM), signing a framework agreement for the joint strategic development of their technologies.

Posted in: Technology Update, Aeronautics, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Optics, Manufacturing processes, Engine components, Quality assurance
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Laser Measurement

Ophir Photonics’ 1000WP-BB-34 high-power water cooled thermal sensor is designed with the requirement that all materials coming in contact with the cooling water are either copper or nonmetallic. This eliminates the possibility of contaminating the water or corroding the sensor, improving the accuracy and reliability of the measurements. The sensor features a 34-mm aperture and a wide dynamic range, measuring powers from 5 W to 1000 W and energy from 400 mJ to 300 J. More detail at http://articles.sae.org/13730.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics, Sensors
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Selective Laser Sintering System

3D Systems has developed its fastest fab-grade selective laser sintering (SLS) system yet, the ProX 500 Plus. Building upon last year’s ProX 500 release, the ProX 500 Plus continues the company’s efforts to redefine production 3-D printing, adding upgraded speeds, higher print resolution, and an expanded range of engineered composite materials to the line. As with the ProX 500, the ProX 500 Plus delivers injection molding-grade parts without expensive fixed tooling for highly complex and mass customized production. Parts from ProX-series SLS printers exhibit long-lasting, fab-grade durability and functionality as well as smooth surface finish. More detail at http://articles.sae.org/13729.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lasers & Laser Systems
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RF Photonics for Avionics Signal Processing

The maturity of RF photonic components has reached the point where fiber optic links are being system-tested to replace traditional copper coax links on avionic platforms. Many demonstrations of RF photonic links have been made with traditional and non-traditional modulation formats to improve the RF performance of the link. While the advantages of RF photonic links in regard to size and weight are important, the large instantaneous bandwidth of the fiber optic links is a key driver for the use of this technology in the airframe.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Fiber Optics, RF & Microwave Electronics, Avionics, Optics
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Using Forensic Lasers in Modern Warfare

In the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the enemy’s guerilla tactics have muddled the distinction between terrorism and warfare. To deal with the challenges of this new type of combat, the military has quietly built up impressive forensic capabilities, with technology more usually found in domestic crime labs than on the battlefield. Just as they have in numerous areas of weapons technology, lasers play a cutting-edge role in this work, which is performed on location, within mobile labs in Afghanistan, as well as in the US.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Photonics, Test equipment and instrumentation, Military vehicles and equipment
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Covert Infrared Battlefield Combat Taggants

Modern warfare often involves poorly defined battle lines accompanied by multilevel fire support systems that can deliver firepower with high precision and devastating lethality from a long distance. The ability to immediately and accurately discriminate through sight between friend and foe is of great importance to military operations for effectively destroying hostile forces while preventing fratricide. This ability is even more crucial for irregular and unconventional warfare such as anti-terrorism operations where US forces often engage enemy combatants well entrenched in urban settings or rugged terrains at night. In such battlefield conditions, using conventional daylight and thermal imagery often exceeds the ability to accurately identify targets as friend or foe, and more reliable battlefield identification methods are needed.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Photonics, Imaging, Identification, Military aircraft, Military vehicles and equipment
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Room-Temperature Sub-Diffraction-Limited Plasmon Laser

Lasers present the means to deliver powerful, coherent, and directional high-frequency electromagnetic energy. However, the diffraction limit of light imposes fundamental constraints on how compact such photonic devices can be and their potential for integration with electronic circuits, which are orders of magnitude smaller.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Downsizing, Architecture, Integrated circuits, Lasers
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