Jan. 1, 2005

10 million cycles is probable for new optical switch

An all-optical encoder from Elma Electronic in Fremont, Calif., uses infrared light-emitting diodes for signal generation, and a proprietary magnetic system for indexing to prevent wearout, and enables the E50 to boast a rotational life of more than 10 million rotations. These rugged switches are for military, medical, industrial, and other mission-critical applications in which long rotational life and precision signal generation are critical. The E50 encoder shines light through a coding rotor mask with various shapes to create different keying sequences. The device outputs two unique pulse trains 90 degrees apart. The indexing system uses magnets for positive positioning instead of mechanical parts. The only mechanical part on the E50 is a spring that returns the pushbutton to its resting, extended position. For more information contact Elma online at

Newport announces Oriel Light Resource Catalog

Newport Corp. in Irvine, Calif., is offering the 336-page Newport Oriel Light Resource catalog with reference material, tutorials, and ordering information for light source products now a part of Newport Corporation after its acquisition of Spectra-Physics last year. In addition to Oriel light sources the catalog offers several new products including the Apex line of economically priced monochromator and fiber illuminators, blackbodies, 1600-W solar simulators and a section devoted to new tools for spectroscopy. For more information contact Newport online at

Coherent expands line of high-power laser diodes

Coherent Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif., is expanding its family of LightStone high-power diode lasers with an 80-watt continuous-wave output device that operates at 808 nanometers. The new laser diode is based on the industry-standard, macro-channel-cooled platform (MCCP), and can be stacked vertically or horizontally. The diode is for applications requiring kilowatts of continuous-wave power. Coherent diode lasers are MBE-grown and feature an aluminum-free active area design for high-temperature performance and few dark-line and spot defects. For more information contact Coherent online at

DRS to provide optical networks for U.S. Navy warships

The EW and Network Systems unit of DRS Technologies, Inc. in Buffalo, N.Y., won an $8.1 million contract from the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington to provide AN/USQ-82(V) Fiber Optic Data Multiplex Systems (FODMS) for Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (DDG 51). FODMS is a general-purpose data network that converts and distributes electrical signals throughout the destroyers, and is considered the backbone of the interior communications system on these ships. DRS will manufacture FODMS to ensure interoperability between old and new military systems. Each FODMS transfers information between various systems, including machinery control, steering control, alarm, indicator, navigation, damage control, propulsion plant, and combat systems. It is based on the Military Survivable Adaptable Fiber Optic Embedded Network (SAFENET) standard. For more information contact DRS online at

Air Force looks to Princeton Lightwave for solid-state lasers

Princeton Lightwave Inc. in Cranbury, N.J., won a $1 million two-year contract to provide the U.S. Air Force with scalable eye-safe solid-state lasers with indium phosphide (InP)-based ultra-low photon defect diode pumping. The Air Force is working with Princeton Lightwave as part of the U.S. Department of Defense High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office project to develop multi-kilowatt eye-safe solid-state lasers. Princeton’s lasers are based on separate-confinement quantum-well structures that allow for control of the injection current components while keeping optical losses to a minimum. These laser arrays will be optimized for pumping an Er:YAG gain medium at wavelengths very close to the solid-state laser emission wavelength to reduce undesirable heating of the gain medium and allow for the scaling of these laser systems to multikilowatt outputs while maintaining high beam quality. For more information contact Princeton Lightwave online at

LCD market set to increase another 18 percent

Liquid-crystal-display (LCD) market values will rise by 18 percent this year, despite falling prices, after having risen about 50 percent in 2004, according to analysts at DisplaySearch in Austin, Texas. “Despite the recent monitor-panel inventory problem which caused the large-area TFT LCD market to shift from shortage to surplus resulting in significant pricing declines, large-area TFT LCD revenues are still expected to rise 50 percent in 2004 to $36 billion and 18 percent in 2005 to $43 billion,” says DisplaySearch President Ross Young. Three key applications for large area LCDs influence the supply/demand status of the industry and therefore panel pricing: computer monitors, notebook PCs, and flat-panel TVs, ­DisplaySearch analysts say. For more information contact the company online at

Smiths picks Laserdyne for laser systems

Designers at Smiths Aerospace in Terre Haute, Ind., are looking to Laserdyne Systems, a division of Prima North America Inc. in Champlin, Minn., for laser systems to help produce strong turbine engine components. Smiths is purchasing two Laserdyne 790 BeamDirector systems for $1.4 million. The 790XS system has an extended z-axis feature with a 40-by-40-by-54-inch work envelope, designed primarily for maskant scribing, a specialized laser process for part chemical milling that produces high-strength turbine engine components. The 790XL system is a seven-axis system with two rotary tables and the Laserdyne Optical Focus Control that complements the system’s autofocus control, which provides Smiths Aerospace with precision drilling of cooling holes in thermal-barrier-coated turbine engine components. For more information contact Laserdyne online at

Tyco’s Laser Diode earns ISO 9001:2000 certification

Laser Diode Inc., a unit of Tyco Electronics in Edison, N.J., earned certification to the ISO 9001:2000 standard from Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Laser Diode’s quality management system to design and build optoelectronic devices. “ISO 9001:2000 certification demonstrates a systematic, world-standard approach to a total quality management system that supports and defines all phases of engineering and production processes,” says Rollin Ball, director of Laser Diode, whose company produces optoelectronic products for military, industrial, medical, and telecommunications applications. For more information contact Laser Diode online at

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