Optics Industry Report

Nov. 1, 2001
DRS Technologies acquires Boeing's Sensors and Electronics Systems business; CDM Optics, Carl Zeiss Group team up; Photonic-crystal startup receives $4.11 million in funding...

DRS Technologies acquires Boeing's Sensors and Electronics Systems business
The Boeing Co. (Chicago, IL) recently sold the assets of its Sensors and Electronic Systems (SES; Anaheim, CA) business to DRS Technologies (Parsippany, NJ) for approximately $67 million. Sensors and Electronic Systems is well-known for its infrared-sensor technology. "The acquisition of SES broadens our electro-optical systems product lines and customer base, particularly those focused on naval and air-based applications," said DRS CEO Mark S. Newman. "Their well-regarded reputation for large-scale, complex system integration is strategically significant to our long-term goals for growth in the defense-related electro-optical systems business."

CDM Optics, Carl Zeiss Group team up
CDM Optics Inc. (Boulder, CO) and the Carl Zeiss Group (Oberkochen, Germany) have announced a development and marketing partnership involving the use of CDM's proprietary wavefront coding technology. The technology enables imaging with a far greater depth of field than is possible with traditional imaging systems, according to CDM, and allows for less-expensive optical designs to perform as well as highly corrected optical systems by using fewer elements and permitting plastic elements in place of glass.

Photonic-crystal startup receives $4.11 million in funding
Mesophotonics Ltd. (Southampton, England), a recent photonic-crystal spin-off from Southampton University, has received initial funding of US$4.11 million (£2.8 million) from BTG (London, England), a global technology-commercialization company. Southampton University also contributed to the formation of Mesophotonics and became a shareholder. The funding is helping Mesophotonics' photonic-crystal technology progress from laboratory experimentation to the creation of device demonstrators with commercial applications. The company anticipates that it will be able to demonstrate the capabilities of the technology before the end of next year. Mesophotonics currently is working to develop technology that has the potential of enabling light to be bent, routed, and processed on a submillimeter scale—facilitating multiple optical functions and allowing complex systems to be implemented with high density on a single piece of silicon.

ThreeFive Photonics' first financing round nets $6.4 million
Optoelectronic technology developer ThreeFive Photonics (Delft, The Netherlands) has completed its first round of financing by securing US$6.4 million (†7 million) from The Netherlands-based venture-capital companies Atlas Venture and Gilde IT Fund. The company plans to use the capital to complete the development of its next-generation optical chip, known as Argo. A prototype of the chip is expected by the end of the year, with production scheduled to start in 2002.

Exotic Electro-Optics wins Northrop Grumman infrared contract
Global aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman (Los Angeles, CA) has awarded Exotic Electro-Optics (Pittsburgh, PA) a multiyear contract worth $12 million for the design, development, and production of advanced electro-optical systems for infrared targeting and navigation pods that will upgrade F-16 aircraft capabilities. The upgrades require state-of-the-art precision optical fabrication, thin-film coatings, and electro-optical assemblies, according to Exotic Electro-Optics. Under the agreement, Exotic Electro-Optics will deliver 88 sets of a multipane sapphire window assembly integrated into a forward-looking infrared targeting system shroud, as well a similar number of navigation pods.

Also in the news . . .
Optics 1 Inc. (Westlake Village, CA) has received a $25-million, five-year contract from the US Naval Air Warfare Center (Lakehurst, NJ) to develop a new advanced multispectral optical surveillance system. Delivery of the first unit to the Navy is expected in March 2003, at a cost of approximately $4.8 million. . . . Royal Philips Electronics (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) has established Anteryon (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), which offers advanced solutions in optical-interface technology, as a wholly owned subsidiary. . . . The Optical Society of America (Washington, DC) has launched a new website (workinoptics.com) for job seekers.

Sally Cole Cederquist

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