News Briefs

Attosecond science in Canada: Paul Corkum, this year’s winner of the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, will lead a new state-of-the-art laboratory in Ottawa that will be home to Canada’s fastest X-ray laser flash.

Attosecond science in Canada: Paul Corkum, this year’s winner of the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, will lead a new state-of-the-art laboratory in Ottawa that will be home to Canada’s fastest X-ray laser flash. Research at the Joint Laboratory for Attosecond Science (JASLab), a strategic collaboration between the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the University of Ottawa, positions the National Capital Region as the attosecond science capital of the world. Attosecond research provides the ultimate window into what’s happening at the molecular level and helps scientists study the fastest processes in atomic and molecular physics (see also

Laser seeker guides attack missiles: NetFires LLC, a joint venture between Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin, completed a test flight of the Non Line-of-Sight-Launch System’s Precision Attack Missile using a warhead. The PAM missile was launched from the NLOS-LS container launch unit and used its on-board, semi-active laser seeker to detect, lock on, and destroy a stationary BM-21 rocket launcher at a range of 38 kilometers. Scott Speet, executive VP of NetFires LLC and Raytheon’s NLOS-LS program director, said, “Demonstrating the system’s capability with a warhead in a tactical scenario is the culmination of years of hard work. The success of this test means we’re only steps away from putting this capability in the hands of soldiers and sailors.”

Night-vision development program: Sensors Unlimited (Princeton, NJ), part of Goodrich ISR Systems, was chosen by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to further develop its short-wave infrared (SWIR) imaging technology for enhanced night-vision capability. Under DARPA’s Photon Counting Array (PCAR) program, Goodrich will develop materials and circuitry to allow its small, lightweight cameras to provide images under darker conditions than previously possible. The selection represents the third phase of the PCAR program; Sensors Unlimited completed the first two phases of PCAR from 2005 through mid-2009. Phase three will advance the technology’s ability to provide crisp images under no-moon conditions.

Night-vision camera contract: Obzerv Technologies (Quebec City, QC, Canada) secured a contract with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division for its ARGC-2400 long-range night vision camera. The U.S Navy will test the Active Range-Gated ARGC-2400 camera by conducting data collection efforts at multiple Navy locations where environmental conditions are the limiting factor for surveillance capabilities and analyzing the performance. “The ARGC-2400 camera is unique in that it is the only commercially available, affordable Long-Range Gated camera that can capture and display clear visual data without interference from parasitic light and adverse weather conditions (snow, fog, rain),” says Steve Schelfhout from NSWC Panama City Division.

Corporate Excellence Award: Oxford Instruments, supplier of x-ray electron and optical based metrology, and advanced growth, deposition, and etching instrumentation, won the prestigious Corporate Excellence category at the 2009 British Business Awards. It was selected for its commitment to investment in Japan and the significant role it plays in linking the academic and scientific research communities in both Japan and the U.K. Oxford Instruments was also selected for organizing, over the last ten years, The Millennium Science Forum. The Sir Martin Wood Prize at this event is awarded to young scientists who have performed outstanding and original research in a Japanese university or research institute in the field of condensed matter science.

CPIA Award: The Colorado Photonics Industry Association (CPIA; Boulder, CO) named DigitalGlobe (Longmont, CO) as the 2009 Colorado Photonics Company of the Year--an award that goes to a company or institution that has contributed the most to the Colorado photonics industry. DigitalGlobe, a world-imagery products and services company, was selected from more than 240 companies in the photonics industry. David Giltner, CPIA president, said, “The recent launch of the company’s third high-resolution [eight-band multispectral] satellite, WorldView-2, highlights the success of DigitalGlobe as well as the high tech environment in Colorado that supports companies like DigitalGlobe.”

PMD method standardized: EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering (Quebec City, QC, Canada) announced that its state of polarization (SOP) sampling analysis (SSA) test method on which its FTB-5700 test instrument is based, has been standardized via the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Fiber-Optic Test Procedure (FOTP)-243, which allows polarization mode dispersion (PMD) and chromatic dispersion (CD) tests to be performed by a single technician instead of two, effectively reducing the manpower required and simplifying the process. The result is reduced operating expenditures (OPEX), reduced time-to-revenue and higher resource efficiency, by approximately a factor of three.

Telecom company accolades: Optical networking company Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) was named the second fastest-growing technology company in North America by Deloitte in its “Technology Fast 500.” Infinera’s DTN optical network was also approved for Department of Defense (DoD) network deployments after passing extensive conformance and interoperability tests with the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC). Infinera’s ATN metro edge platform was accepted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program for deployment under the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) telecom programs. And Tiscali, one of the leading telecommunications companies in Italy, selected Infinera for its nationwide Italian backbone and metro networks.

LEDs for micro projectors: 3M is including OSRAM Opto Semiconductors’ (Sunnyvale, CA) LEDs in its new micro projectors, which can be connected to mobile phones and cameras. OSRAM’s LEDs make micro-projection display sizes of more than a meter possible. With 3M’s small new MPro120 PocketProjector, which is about the size of a mobile phone, it is now easy to view photos or videos by projecting them on a wall. This is made possible by a light source from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors that has been adapted specifically to 3M’s requirements based on the OSTAR SMT LED.

New Web sites launched: To augment its dedicated OEM engineering resources, Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL), industry provider of miniature photonics and spectroscopy instruments, launched, devoted to the needs of its OEM customers. NDO Consultants of England launched a new online web portal at that brings together all types of instrumentation suppliers worldwide in addition to technical information and the latest product news. Lunera Lighting (Redwood City, CA), a company that designs, manufactures, and markets next-generation digital LED lighting, launched its new website at, designed to help visitors learn about LED lighting and get started with Lunera products. Even Laser Focus World will have a new look for 2010 at And look for Daylight Solutions (Poway, CA) to launch its new Web site in January at

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