Electro-optics briefs

Nov. 1, 2007

Near-infrared linear polarizers that eliminate unwanted reflections

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Edmund Optics in Barrington, N.J., is offering near-infrared linear polarizers with an extended broadband range. These high-contrast polarizers are for applications involving low-power near-infrared lasers, LEDs, and other near-infrared sources. Their broadband range makes them suitable for telecommunications applications such as fiber optic isolators and couplers. The TECHSPEC polarizers are fabricated using a thin polymer film sandwiched between two flat pieces of B270 glass. The polarizers provide uniform performance across a broad spectral range, achieving extinction ratios from 40 dB at 830 nanometers to 50 dB at 1310 and 1550 nanometers. The average transmission is greater than 30 percent for a wavelength range of 750 to 850 nanometers and 33 percent for a wavelength range of 1000 to 2000 nanometers. For more information, contact Edmund Optics online at www.edmundoptics.com.

Sensata Technologies offers image sensors to improve military and industrial vehicle safety

Sensata Technologies Inc. in Attleboro, Mass., is extending its automotive vision systems line into industrial and recreational vehicle applications where the safety of people and surrounding equipment is also of prime concern. The company’s ACM100 CMOS camera module and IM103 image sensor offerings are designed to improve the operational safety of vehicles like boats, airplanes, motor homes, military and law-enforcement vehicles, forklifts, and other industrial equipment. Sensata’s ACM100 camera module is based on the IM103 CMOS image sensor with its dynamic range of up to 120 db enabled by Sensata’s Autobrite technology that can capture visual information in conditions of extreme variations in illumination. The IM103’s spectral range is sensitive to visible and near infrared (NIR) wavelengths enabling the camera to capture wavelengths that are unseen by the human eye but present in the night sky. This capability far exceeds traditional imagers allowing industrial camera systems to “see” in dramatically changing lighting conditions common in day and night operation. For example, video enabling a motor home or a heavy construction vehicle provides significant operator “viewing” assistance and results in improved operator performance and a reduced number of accidents and associated downtime. The benefits of the system are especially evident at night when low lighting might make it difficult or impossible to see with the human eye or with conventional imagers. For more information, contact Sensata Technologies online at www.sensata.com.

RPMC Lasers unveils miniature Q-switched oscillator in high-heat-load package

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RPMC Lasers Inc. in O’Fallon, Mo., is introducing the company’s next-generation miniature Q-switched oscillator (MQO). The laser head and diode are now packaged together in a high-heat-load (HHL) diode package. Benefits include better temperature control and stability, more compact size, and increased robustness. MQO’s are compact, monolithic, short pulsed solid-state lasers with output wavelengths of 946, 1030, 1047, 1053 or 1064 nanometers or the second, third, and fourth harmonics thereof, with peak powers of up to 50 kilowatts. These are available from Arctic Photonics and offered by its North American distributor RPMC Lasers Inc. MQO’s are configured to customer requirements to provide a fixed pulse width in the range of 0.1 to 10 nanoseconds with a diffraction limited beam and are capable of energies from nanojoules to 200 microjoules. Repetition rates from single shot to 300 kHz are available. Custom units are available such as with OPG (1.5-4 micron) or Ti:sapphire (~700-900 nanometers) output. For more information, contact RPMC Lasers online at www.rpmclasers.com.

U.S. Army contracts BAE Systems for thermal weapon sights

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Officials at the U.S. Army Program Executive Office at Fort Belvoir, Va., required thermal weapon sights, for which they turned to engineers at BAE Systems in Nashua, N.H. BAE Systems engineers are increasing production rates of the company’s thermal weapon sights to 3,000 per month, based on a recent $183 million award from the Army. This order marks the first under a five-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract that could reach $1 billion. BAE Systems’s microbolometer thermal imaging technology enables warfighters to see into the battlefield day and night in all weather conditions, increasing the warfighter’s surveillance and target-acquisition range. BAE Systems engineers already are producing and delivering more than 29,600 of the company’s Thermal Weapon Sites II (TWS-II), based on a five-year, $295 million contract with the Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, N.J. For more information, visit BAE Systems online at www.baesystems.com.

Edmund Optics introduces TECHSPEC elliptical plate beamsplitters

Edmund Optics Inc. in Barrington, N.J., is offering the TECHSPEC elliptical plate beamsplitters to make the most of beamsplitting efficiency while minimizing mounting space. When the beamsplitter is orientated at 45 degrees in the optical path, it creates a circular aperture equal to the diameter of the minor axis. The beamsplitters are available in two thicknesses: 1.0 mm for ultra-tight spaces, or 3.0 mm with an improved surface accuracy of 1/4. They are available in the VIS and NIR 50/50 beamsplitter coatings and feature a multilayer antireflection coating to reduce back reflections. “Our elliptical plate beamsplitters have been used in a number of space-constrained applications,” says Gregg Fales, Edmund Optics product line manager. “They provide 40 percent more clear aperture than would a circular beamsplitter using the same amount of physical space, which has helped us design some compact, highly efficient illumination assemblies.” For more information, contact Edmund Optics online at www.edmundoptics.com.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection selects FLIR Systems’ sensors

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) team in Washington sought innovative sensor systems. CBP personnel found their optimal solution at FLIR Systems Inc. in North Billerica, Mass. CBP awarded a $6 million contract to FLIR Systems for the delivery of Ranger III multisensor systems. The systems will be installed along the southern U.S. border to upgrade older thermal imaging systems in operation. This order represents the largest single order from CBP that FLIR has won to date. Systems will be manufactured in FLIR’s facility in Billerica, Mass. Deliveries are scheduled to take place by the end of the month. For more information, visit FLIR online at www.flir.com.

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