Imaging & Detector Industry Report

June 1, 2003
Coreco and Cantronic develop SARS detection system; Equinox wins NASA contract for Mars imager; Raytheon to design imager for DARPA; MORE...

Coreco and Cantronic develop SARS detection system

Coreco Imaging (Montreal, Quebec), a developer of high-performance machine-vision products, and Cantronic Systems (Vancouver, British Columbia) have jointly developed and deployed thermal-imaging systems for use in the fight against SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). The Fever Scan M3000 is an imaging system designed for screening public areas for individuals with elevated body temperatures. Individuals who register higher than normal body temperatures may be exhibiting the first symptoms of SARS and can be identified for medical attention. Several systems have been sold worldwide. (See related story, p. 24.)

Equinox wins NASA contract for Mars imager

Equinox Interscience (Golden, CO) has been awarded a $1.3 million contract from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop a mineral identification and composition analyzer (MICA) for use on future Mars missions. MICA will combine multiple optical and x-ray imaging techniques to determine the mineralogical nature of Martian rocks, sand or dust. The objective of the MICA project is to demonstrate how optical imaging combined with x-ray diffraction and x-ray fluorescence techniques can facilitate rapid geological reconnaissance of Martian surface materials.

Raytheon to design imager for DARPA

Raytheon Company's Space and Airborne Systems (Lexington, MA) was awarded an $8 million cost plus fixed fee contract to design and demonstrate the world's first Synthetic Aperture LADAR Tactical Imager (SALTI). SALTI will provide the first airborne optical synthetic imagery capability to the warfighter. It will provide improved clarity of electro-optic wavelengths for imaging targets and will not suffer from the normal glint returns associated with common X-band synthetic aperture radar.

According to developers, SALTI promises to provide essential standoff and target identification to manned and unmanned airborne platforms with unprecedented resolution. The contract was awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Advanced Technology Office, with the Air Force Research Laboratory serving as technical and program execution agent.

AU Optronics and UDC demonstrate OLED advance

AU Optronics (Taipei, Taiwan) has fabricated a low-power consumption, full-color active-matrix organic LED display combining its proprietary amorphous silicon (a-Si), thin-film transistor (TFT) backplane technology with the phosphorescent OLED technology developed by Universal Display (Ewing, NJ). They demonstrated this display at the Society for Information Display International Symposium in Baltimore, MD, in May. According to the companies, the combination of these technologies opens the door to using the well-established a-Si manufacturing infrastructure for OLED displays, which should in turn reduce production costs and create new market opportunities.

LEDs find niche in aesthetic market

At least two companies are now offering LED-based systems for use in aesthetic applications, competing with more expensive laser-based systems for the treatment of wrinkles and acne. Enfis (Swansea, England) has developed proprietary high-brightness LED array and optical and thermal management technologies aimed at providing low-cost, high-power solutions for medical and aesthetic applications, such as acne treatment and dental curing and whitening. With wavelengths around 580 nm, the Enfis systems are able to deliver power densities in excess of 1.5W/cm2 in spot sizes ranging from 5 mm to 12 mm.

Another company pursuing this market with an LED-based system is Light Bioscience (Virginia Beach, VA). In various presentations last year, dermatologic surgeon and Light Bioscience founder David McDaniel reported on the scientific theory of photomodulation that is behind his company's LED device. For anti-aging benefits, Dr. McDaniel and his research team investigated technologies that stimulate the skin's fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin proteins.

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at [email protected].

Also in the news . . .

Royal Philips Electronics (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) has secured an order for its polymer light emitting diode technology from L-3 Communications' Display Systems Division (Alpharetta, Ga.), an integrator of avionic displays. Under terms of this agreement, Philips will deliver customized PolyLED display modules for integration into cockpit instrumentation systems for commercial and military aircraft by the end of 2005. . . . Due to ongoing concerns about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Intertech (Portland, ME) has decided to postpone its OLEDs ASIA 2003 conference. The conference, which was scheduled for June 16–18 in Shanghai, has been rescheduled for March 2004 at a yet-to-be-named location.

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