Novus Light Technologies Today’s readers are knowledgeable industry leaders, and the articles they read signal significant trends in the industry. The most-read articles include state-of-the-art research and technologies, but more than anything they indicate trends in the real-world use of light in applications including manufacturing, water disinfection, health, robotics, security and defense, optical computing, underwater imaging and environmental sensing. The following are the ten most-read articles in 2016 in Novus Light Technologies Today.
The demand for increased imaging speed means that many larger high-speed imagers support 64 Low-Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS) pairs. This, however, makes camera design more complex and thus, more costly.
Next generation sensors from Sony will discontinue use of LVDS interface in their new products in favor a new standard called Scalable Low Voltage Signaling with an Embedded Clock (SLVS-EC). With insight from imaging experts at Baumer Optronic, Framos, Point Grey and ON Semiconductor, this article presents a detailed and balanced view of using the new standard in cameras with high resolution and high data rates.
Research has demonstrated that exposing animals to light of a specific wavelength can have significant beneficial effects on their eyesight. The reason is that light plays an important role in promoting the activity of mitochondria, which keep cells healthy.
Because cells in the retina have greater metabolic demands that others, they tend to age early.
But exposing the cells to increased doses of light at a specific wavelength has been found to slow the aging process of the retinal cells. The same research may be important in ameliorating “bee decline,” where chemicals in pesticides have undermined mitochondrial function in bees, leaving them immobile.
Hyperspectral imaging systems are useful in a range of applications but limited by their size and expense. A novel hyperspectral imaging (HIS)
system developed at PARC could be added at minimal cost to existing camera sensors, such as those in cell phone and other consumer electronic devices. The new system comprises just a liquid crystal cell between a pair of polarizers that acts as a spectral encoder and a CMOS imager. This design is not only simple and affordable, but resolves many of the disadvantages of earlier designs.
Machine vision, robotics and other 3D applications are hot trends that are affording greater capabilities to intelligent machines.
Structured light is an optical method of 3D scanning that projects light patterns that sequentially illuminate the object that is being measured. Programmable pattern scanners use laser or LED illumination with a digital spatial light modulator (SLM) to project a series of patterns on the surface of an object. A camera then synchronously captures a set of images of the illuminated object. Active, non-contact 3D scanning systems that use structured light offer distinct advantages to the user, and must be evaluated based on specific demands of the application.
Today’s optical profilers are so much more than just instruments to measure surface roughness. They are really optical measuring microscopes for 3D dimensional surface structural analysis. And these measurements are critical in the manufacturing of a vast array of items because surface topography and texture play a significant role in what will be a quality part or what will be rejected. Today’s non-contact coherence scanning interferometers scan a complete area in a single scan---offering at least nanometer-level vertical precision. In addition, they can measure high slopes and the vertical precision of these tools don’t depend on optical magnification.
UV-C LED are entering the disinfection market, replacing mercury-based UV lamps. The advantage is that you can concentrate more light in a given area without the aid of external optical componetns, and this can be done in a
small footprint. A new wave of lower-cost UV-C LED sources will open larger market segments in the near future. Applications outside of water disinfection are likely to grow based on the same core technology benefits. Advanced oxidation, surface disinfection, and air treatment applications all have particular areas where the characteristics of UV-C LEDs can provide unique solutions.
Companies with large-scale data centers striving to meet bandwidth demands, silicon photonics has become the practical solution. High-speed solutions like silicon photonics can scale. In addition, silicon photonics can
be mass produced and run with little power. Here data centers have been using 10 and 40G technology for over a decode, many are upgrading to 100G servers. Soon after many will be making the leap to 400G, once the drivers and electronics are available.
Th European Commission launched Horizon 2020, the largest ever Research and Innovation programme with a focus on securing global competitiveness
in Europe and a key programme to explore new opportunities in the marine and maritime sectors. Using state of the art photonic and imaging hardware to provide an underwater imaging platform, input includes time of flight imaging and laser technology to provide high contrast underwater imaging together with 3D information.
Manufacturing microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) requires sophisticated semiconductor fabrication facilities that are expensive
to build and maintain.
At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), researchers may have found an additive manufacturing technique for building such nanodevices in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and without vacuum conditions. One of the technologies they are working on is called “electrospray printing”, which is the ionization of liquids using high electric fields. The MIT team is also working on a second technology that addresses the scaling up of electrospray printing to an industrial level.
Written by Anne Fischer, Managing Editor, Novus Light Technologies Today