News Briefs

Nov. 15, 2008

CO photonics company of the year: The Colorado Photonics Industry Association (CPIA) named spectrometer manufacturer ASD (Boulder, CO; formerly Analytical Spectral Devices) as the 2008 Colorado Photonics Company of the Year. The award goes to a company or institution that has contributed the most to the Colorado photonics industry recently. In just the past year, ASD has been named to the Boulder County Business Report’s Mercury 100 for fastest-growing companies and named one of Colorado’s Technology Fast 50 companies by Deloitte and Touche. CPIA executive director Barbara Ihde said, “ASD continues to experience steady growth in an extremely difficult economic environment, and is taking optical measurement systems into a host of new, novel, and innovative application areas.”

CEO resigns; earnings down: According to an October 29 report on Barron’s (, optical communications components manufacturer JDSU (Milpitas, CA) announced on the company’s recent earnings call that JDSU president and CEO Kevin Kennedy is resigning to take a position at another company which he did not identify. He will remain vice chairman of JDSU. The company said in a statement that its board has formed a search committee to find a successor. In related news, JDSU posted revenue for its fiscal first quarter ended September 27 of $380.8 million; the street had expected $386.1 million. For FY Q2, JDSU sees revenue of $360-$390 million, well short of the street estimate at around $417 million.

Fifth contract award for mirrors: Photonic Products Group (Northvale, NJ) announced that its MRC Optics subsidiary was awarded a firm, fixed-price contract for precision optical components from Lockheed Martin for aluminum, beryllium, and beryllium alloy optical mirrors for Lot 5 production requirements on the Arrowhead electro-optical system. This is the fifth consecutive award to MRC Optics for all of the required Arrowhead aluminum mirrors since 2002, and the second consecutive award for the beryllium and beryllium alloy mirrors. Arrowhead is the Army’s Modernized Target Acquisition Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system that AH-64 Apache helicopter pilots are using for safe flight in day, night, and “any-weather” missions.

Pharmaceutical analysis: Thermo Fisher Scientific (Madison, WI) announced that Chiatai Qingchunbao Pharmaceutical, a world-renowned pharmaceutical company based in HangZhou, China, chose the Antaris MX Fourier-transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) process analyzer to perform online sample analysis in its traditional Chinese medicine manufacturing facilities. With the Thermo Scientific Antaris platform fully installed in the production line, it now takes Chiatai Qingchunbao less than 30 seconds to analyze samples compared with traditional time-consuming methods which could take several hours to complete. The Antaris analyzer has greatly increased Chiatai Qingchunbao’s productivity, leading to significant time savings.

Optical network selection: FiberLight, a provider of metro optical networking solutions, has standardized on Fujitsu optical networking equipment as the backbone for its LightSource family of managed service offerings. FiberLight is deploying the Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 7420 managed wavelength platform due to its ability to easily scale as FiberLight’s backbone bandwidth needs expand. FiberLight is also deploying Fujitsu’s multi-service provisioning platforms for SONET and Ethernet connectivity between customer sites. Management support for FiberLight’s high-availability, mission-critical network is being provided by two fully redundant network operations centers located at Fujitsu locations in Sunnyvale, CA and Richardson, TX.

40 Gbps network success: Engineers from the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX), High-End Computer Networking (HECN) at NASA Goddard Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), Juniper Networks, and Fujitsu Network Communications successfully completed a live trial of 40 Gbps connections between the University of Maryland campus and facilities in McLean, VA using routing and optical equipment from Juniper Networks and Fujitsu. While most of today’s fiber-optic transmission infrastructure is limited to 10 Gbps, widespread implementation of 40 Gbps technology in live networks could help provide the scale needed to support the proliferation of advanced services such as on-demand high-definition video and real-time collaboration across the Internet.

DoD Security Fellows: The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced two additional National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows (NSSEFF), bringing the total number of distinguished scientists and engineers in the inaugural round of this prestigious program to eight. Professor Constance Chang-Hasnain, University of California, Berkeley—and Editorial Advisory Board member to Laser Focus World, and Professor Margaret Murnane, University of Colorado at Boulder, join the other notable university faculty announced by the DoD in June 2008, selected from over 350 applicants to the fiscal 08 round. Information on the NSSEFF is available at http://www.defenselink.

SPIE Russia library: The extensive SPIE (Bellingham, WA) Optics Library collected by the former SPIE Russia Chapter has a new permanent home in the P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The collection has been housed for the former chapter at the Lebedev Physical Institute Library since February 2006, and will now be considered part of its renowned, free-access library. “SPIE is very pleased that this comprehensive collection of optics and photonics literature will remain open to the public through the Lebedev Physical Institute,” said SPIE president Kevin Harding. “Researchers from Russia have made important contributions to the world’s knowledge of science and optical technologies in particular, and have greatly enriched SPIE’s publications with their work.”

OSA’s launches ISP with medical research: U.S. and Australian researchers are announcing the development of new optical techniques that may help clinicians diagnose and treat people with breathing disorders and that can show three-dimensional structure and the blood flow mechanism at the earliest stages of heart development. The published results are the first to showcase the Optical Society’s (OSA) Interactive Science Publishing (ISP) initiative, which allows authors to submit a manuscript that includes large three-dimensional data and gives researchers, scientists, and engineers a way to evaluate new research results more thoroughly.

The research takes advantage of ISP, an initiative undertaken by OSA in partnership with the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, and with the support of the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research. This initiative allows scientists to expand upon traditional research results by providing software for interactively viewing underlying source data and to objectively compare the performance of different technologies. This data may be related to medical images, such as those taken with X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds, or it may be created in research involving oil and gas exploration, climatology, pollution monitoring and many other fields. For more information on ISP, visit

People in the news: Fibre Photonics (Scotland), a manufacturer of fiber-optic probe technologies for environmental monitoring, aerospace, chemical analysis, and process control applications, appointed Dr Des Gibson as a non–executive director. As a previous CEO and shareholder of U.K.-based thin-film equipment company RTC Systems, he increased company turnover five fold in a three-year period, resulting in acquisition of the company by Satis Vacuum in 2001. As a chartered engineer, Gibson has over forty technical publications, ten patents, and is a fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Avo Photonics (Horsham, PA), provider of custom optoelectronic packaging design and contract manufacturing services to customers in the military/aerospace, medical, communications, and commercial markets, announced that Todd Rixman joined the company as technical manager. Rixman has in excess of 14 years of experience in mechanical design and photonics packaging and prior to Avo, led programs from concept through production at Princeton Lightwave, JDSU, and Kulicke & Soffa Industries. Rixman is a graduate of Penn State with both BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering.

Welch Allyn Lighting Products (Skaneateles Falls, NY) named Tod Fisher its West Coast account manager. Fisher joins Welch Allyn from MD Advantage, where he was a sales representative for Siemens Medical Solutions’ line of ultrasound equipment. He was also sales manager for PerkinElmer’s optoelectronics business unit and a sales rep for Osram Sylvania’s photo-optic division.

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