News Briefs

Nov. 1, 2009
Solar Decathlon winners: In the October 15th issue of Optoelectronics Report, we profiled Penn State University and its use of Solyndra cylindrical solar panels in its Solar Decathlon entry.

Solar Decathlon winners: In the October 15th issue of Optoelectronics Report, we profiled Penn State University and its use of Solyndra cylindrical solar panels in its Solar Decathlon entry. Though they did not win, other grateful winners were: First Place: Team Germany (Technische Universität Darmstadt); focused on producing surplus energy by using the maximum overall building dimensions allowed and applying photovoltaics to every available surface. Second Place: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the team set out to express its regional heritage and sought to create a synergy between old and new. Third Place: Team California (Santa Clara University, California College of the Arts); ranking in the top three of nearly every contest, Refract House masterfully executed the melding of interior and exterior spaces.

Telecom partnership: Optical transport provider Mintera (Acton, MA) and Nokia Siemens Networks announced that Nokia Siemens Network’s updated hiT 7300 transport product now incorporates Mintera’s MI 4000XM Adaptive differential phase shift keying (DPSK) module, which is in full deployment supporting 40 Gbps services. “[Mintera’s DWDM module] is a very reliable component enabling simple upgrading of high capacity DWDM systems to 40 Gbps line speed. The competence of Mintera shows in excellent engineering and understanding our needs,” said Uwe Fischer, head of Nokia Siemens Networks’ DWDM business line.

Comedic play on fiber optics: A new play commissioned by the Science & Discovery Center in Big Flats, NY and written by Marysue Moses and Alfred Harrison from Theater at Work (St. Paul, MN), producer of live theater issue-oriented programs for corporate America, called “The Quest to Talk with Light” presents a home-town success story. Playing at the Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY), the play is a comedy about the invention of fiber optics by three Corning Incorporated scientists, Donald B. Keck, Robert D. Maurer and Peter C. Schultz. It was written based on material from Corning Sullivan Park scientists, marketing personnel, and Science Center staff.

FBGs for turbine optimization: BaySpec (Fremont, CA), provider of affordable spectral engines, shipped its ruggedized Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) Interrogation Analyzers to a leading organization working on the HEATTOP, gas turbine program. The sensor technology is based on the micromachining of super resistant materials such as single-crystal sapphire (melting point > 2000°C) together with fiber-optic interrogation techniques that give high sensitivity and immunity from electro-magnetic interference effects common in turbo-machinery such as gas turbines. The technology aims to advance gas turbine life optimization, performance, and condition monitoring through accurate high-temperature engine measurements.

Distribution agreements: Vytran (Morganville, NJ), supplier of fiber fusion splicing, assembly and fiber-based glass processing solutions, appointed Connet Fiber Optics and Seasun Technology as its distributors in China. Each will provide local sales, business development, and service support in their specialty markets. Connet’s focus is R&D and industrial markets while Seasun covers telecom and cable TV along with associated industrial markets.

Ultrafast fiber laser manufacturer Fianium (Southampton, England) expanded its worldwide distribution network with the appointment of representatives in four key growth regions: Laser Science Services Ltd. (India), Wooyang Photonics (Korea), FORC Photonics (Russia) and Ammo Engineering (Israel).

OLED news source: The OLED Association ( and ( are making it easier than ever to track industry news and new developments in OLED products. The OLED Association is implementing a direct news feed from the leading OLED news source, According to Barry Young, managing director of OLED-A, the combination is logical, “OLED-A’s mission to serve the OLED community as a whole dovetails with OLED-Info’s mission to provided the most comprehensive news and information on OLED technology.” According to Ron Mertens, founder and editor of OLED-Info, the association is necessary in speeding the adoption of the technology.

LED lighting startup is shipping: Lunera Lighting (Redwood City, CA), a designer, manufacturer, and marketer of next-generation digital LED lighting technology, has begun selling its premium products of ultra-thin, energy-efficient LED light panel fixtures. Lunera was founded and is led by a broad range of top industry influencers, lighting physicists, engineers, artisans, and marketers with an objective to be the leader in developing the full potential of LED lighting for general commercial use, according to Don Peifer, Lunera co-founder. He says their business model is to create a fixture that delivers on the promise of energy savings and elevates the quality of light for a facility’s occupants.

PV research center in China: Applied Materials (Santa Clara, CA), supplier of equipment to the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry, opened an advanced solar research and demonstration facility in Xi’an, China. “This opening represents a critical breakthrough for the photovoltaic industry and China and a tremendous benefit to our customers,” said Mike Splinter, chairman and CEO of Applied Materials. “Establishing this center in China is an integral part of Applied’s global strategy and an important step toward the industrialization of the global solar industry.” Applied Materials is celebrating its 25th anniversary in China this year and has more than 800 employees and 13 offices in the country, with around 300 employees in Xi’an.

People in the news: Hong Tang, assistant professor of electrical engineering at Yale’s School of Engineering & Applied Science, was awarded a 2009 Packard Foundation Fellowship for Science and Engineering. His research focuses on the incredibly weak force exerted by ordinary light.

Mobius Photonics (Santa Clara, CA), a producer of short-pulsed fiber laser sources, named Robert L. Byer Chairman of its board of directors. Mobius also recently named Robert Mortensen its CEO.

Dewen Cheng, a PhD candidate at the College of Optoelectronics, Beijing Institute of Technology, was selected as the 2009 SPIE Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship winner. The Scholarship was established in 1998 to honor Michael John Kidger, a well-respected educator, design software developer, and member of the optical science and engineering community.

Radhakrishnan “Radha” Nagarajan, senior director of Optical Component Technology at Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA), was named a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) in recognition of his pioneering work in photonic integrated circuit design.

Corning (Corning, NY) and Lightwave (Nashua, NH) announced that Ian Williams of TELUS Corporation (British Columbia, Canada) received the sixth annual FTTXcellence Award, which honors an individual for his or her contributions to the deployment of optical access networks in North America.

Laser Light Engines (Salem, NH), manufacturer of ultra-high brightness lasers, hired Doug Darrow, former general manager of TI’s DLP Cinema Division to serve as CEO.

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