News Briefs

Molecular imagers sold: ART Advanced Research Technologies (Montreal, QC, Canada), a medical device company featuring optical molecular imaging products for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, received two orders for the recently released preclinical optical molecular imager, Optix MX2.

Molecular imagers sold: ART Advanced Research Technologies (Montreal, QC, Canada), a medical device company featuring optical molecular imaging products for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, received two orders for the recently released preclinical optical molecular imager, Optix MX2. The units are expected to be shipped before the end of the year. This represents the first Optix units sold by ART under its new commercial strategy. “These orders of the Optix MX2 system demonstrate that we are on track to achieve revenue growth with our new commercialization strategy under the leadership of Dino DiCamillo, our new global sales and marketing executive for preclinical imaging,” said Sebastien Gignac, president and CEO of ART.

Nanoprober partnership: Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) and Multiprobe Inc. (Santa Barbara, CA) announced their intent to expand the companies’ strategic partnership. As a result, Multiprobe’s Multiscan Atomic Force Prober (AFP), billed by the companies as the world’s highest-resolution nanoprober, will be sold and supported by Agilent to customers in Asia and Japan. This arrangement strengthens the existing relationship between the two companies and expands Agilent’s product offerings to include this solution for failure analysis in semiconductor devices. Multiprobe is already using the Agilent B1500A semiconductor device analyzer in its current products.

OSA Foundation funding: The Optical Society of America (OSA; Washington, DC) Foundation Board of Directors approved funding for three new optics-related programs for 2007 through 2009. These grants will provide funds for optics curriculum for EASTCONN, a non-profit education service center; for an optics education and hands-on demonstration program developed by the OSA Rochester (NY) Local Section; and for the distribution of educational materials to developing nations. “It is our core belief that all students should have access to quality science education and interactive scientific learning programs,” said Gary Bjorklund, chair of the OSA Foundation Board. “These three new programs have a special emphasis on bringing the science of optics to school-aged children and introducing it in an exciting way.”

Photonics distributor appointed: TT electronics OPTEK Technology (Carrollton, TX) appointed NRC Electronics (Boca Raton, FL) as a global distributor of their complete product offering. NRC Electronics will provide the necessary technical support and “on demand” distribution for OPTEK’s optoelectronic sensors and fiber optic devices, along with their visible LED components and assemblies. “In addition to their extensive offering of optoelectronic products, OPTEK greatly enhances our illuminated components offering, which is the fastest growing segment of our industry,” said Renee Michon, VP sales of NRC Electronics.

Photonic crystals forecast: According to a new technical market research report, Photonic Crystals: Technology and Global Markets (AVM059A) from BCC Research (Wellesley, MA), the global market for photonic crystals will be worth $13.9 million in 2007. This will increase to $32 million in 2008 and $666.4 million by 2013, a compound average annual growth rate of 84%. The market is broken down into applications of light emission, information technology, optical sensing, energy conversion, light energy delivery, and other applications. Of these, light emission has the largest share of the market. Expected to be worth $12 million in 2008, this segment will grow to $295 million by the end of 2013.

Specialty fibers forecast: According to a new technical market research report, Specialty Fibers: Technologies and Global Markets (AVM060A) from BCC Research, the global market for specialty fibers is expected to be worth $5.6 billion in 2007. This is expected to increase to over $9.2 billion by 2012, a compound average annual growth rate of 10.5%. The market is broken down into applications of carbon fibers, aramid fibers, and other specialty fibers. Of these, aramid fibers have the largest share of the market. The second largest segment, carbon fibers, was worth an estimated $1.4 billion in 2007 and will reach $2.5 billion by 2012, for a CAGR of 12.7%.

Telescope funded: The California Institute of Technology and the University of California have received a $200 million commitment over nine years from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation toward the further development and construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT). Funding under this commitment will be shared equally between the two universities, with matching gifts from the two institutions expected to bring the total to $300 million. With the TMT, astronomers will be able to locate and analyze the light from the first stellar systems born soon after the Big Bang, determine the physical processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies like our own Milky Way, study planet formation around nearby stars, and make observations that test the fundamental laws of physics.

Mega-telescope gears up: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected three teams of scientists to begin studying disks of dust around nearby stars starting in February 2008, using the Keck Interferometer in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. This sophisticated new system combines the observing power of the two large Keck telescopes into a single mega-telescope.

The announcement follows completion of the Keck Interferometer’s technology phase, in which its detectors, starlight trackers, active optics, and computer control systems were installed, tested, and integrated. The Keck Interferometer science teams are looking for disks and concentration of dust in planetary systems that could indicate planets orbiting other stars.

Photogrammetric contract: HJW GeoSpatial (Oakland, CA) was awarded a Photogrammetric Mapping and GIS Services contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District. Initially awarded in November 2006, the indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract is now entering its second year and has a maximum value of $1.5 million over three years. Task orders negotiated under the contract involve work for the Corps and other federal agencies, covering services related to photogrammetric mapping, aerial photography and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), remote sensing, aerial triangulation and topographic mapping. The contract covers all locations within the boundaries of the South Pacific Division.

Chinese Web site for fiber lasers: SPI Lasers (Southampton, England), designer and manufacturer of fiber lasers, launched a new Web site at that provides information on SPI’s lasers in the Chinese language for the first time, as well as the capability to book evaluations, download datasheets and application notes, book samples into the applications laboratory, and find contact details of the relevant sales and customer support team. The new site also contains details of how to take advantage of SPI’s free proof-of-principle and 30-day free trial program. SPI provides a progressive program to support academic and not-for-profit research centers.

People in the news: Laser manufacturer TOPTICA Photonics-USA (TPI; Victor, NY) promoted Mark Tolbert as their new president and CEO effective October 1, 2007. Tolbert will develop and manage all aspects of their operations in the United States and will also join the TPI board of directors. Tolbert replaces Alain Bourdon, who served as TOPTICA’s CEO since 2002.

The OSA Foundation renamed its Engineering Excellence Award the Paul F. Forman Engineering Excellence Award to honor the contributions to optical engineering by the late Paul Forman, co-founder of Zygo Corporation and OSA fellow. The award is also being expanded to include a financial stipend, made possible by a $50,000 pledge from Zygo Corporation.

Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) chief marketing and strategy officer Dave Welch was elected to the board of directors of the OSA and was also named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Also, Infinera director of advanced optical technologies Radha Nagarajan has been honored by the IEEE as an IEEE Fellow for his key role in the development of Infinera’s large-scale photonic integrated circuits.

SUSS MicroTec (Munich, Germany), supplier of manufacturing and test equipment for the semiconductor and related markets, appointed Wilfried Bair VP strategic business development.

SCHOTT Corporation appointed Gerald J. Fine as president and CEO effective with the New Year. In his new position, Fine will work to coordinate and develop SCHOTT North America’s (Elmsford, NY) business activities.

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