News Briefs

Mars microscope images: A microscope on NASA’s Mars Phoenix Lander has taken images of dust and sand particles with the greatest resolution ever returned from another planet.

Mars microscope images: A microscope on NASA’s Mars Phoenix Lander has taken images of dust and sand particles with the greatest resolution ever returned from another planet. The mission’s microscope observed particles that had fallen onto an exposed surface, revealing grains as small as one-tenth the diameter of a human hair. “We have images showing the diversity of mineralogy on Mars at a scale that is unprecedented in planetary exploration,” said Michael Hecht of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA), the lead scientist for Phoenix’s Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer (MECA) instrument suite. The images were taken June 3 of particles that had collected on a sticky surface exposed during the Phoenix landing and for five days after landing.

ENERGY STAR LED standards: OSRAM Opto Semiconductors (Santa Clara, CA) broadened its light-emitting diode (LED) portfolio with products that will help lighting designers and manufacturers meet or exceed ENERGY STAR standards for the solid-state lighting (SSL) market. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program and distinctions are a highly valued and widely recognized mark of energy efficiency and product quality. In September 2007, the ENERGY STAR program, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, released standards for SSL, which will go into effect on September 30, 2008. These standards include requirements for SSL product performance focus in residential and commercial applications.

OLED milestone reached: The OLLA (Aachen, Germany) project consortium achieved its final milestone: the basic technology for a white organic light-emitting diode (OLED) light source with an efficacy of 50.7 lumens per watt at an initial brightness of 1.000 cd/m2 based on the Novaled (Dresden, Germany) PIN OLED technology. The OLLA project is a joint basic research consortium, headed by Philips Lighting, with 24 partners in 8 European countries. Besides the record values listed above, the OLLA project delivered the first large sized ITO-free OLEDs and the first large-area printed OLEDs. Philips, Osram Opto Semiconductors, Siemens, Novaled, and Fraunhofer IPMS will continue the development of OLED lighting technology in a follow-up project.

OLED ink jet contract: The U.S. Display Consortium (USDC; San Jose, CA), a public/private partnership chartered with developing the flexible electronics and displays industry supply chain, completed its co-sponsored program with Dow Corning Corporation for the development of a new hole injection transport system that is compatible with OLED ink jet fabrication. Dow Corning’s achievement has the potential to increase OLED performance and reduce OLED fabrication costs for use in the flat-panel display industry. “USDC’s HIM program achieved its goal for developing a new group of siloxane-based hole injection materials, which can be cast as solid thin films with excellent transmittance, smoothness, and solvent resistance,” said Mark Hartney, CTO for USDC.

PIC optical network news: Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) won an RFQ at Deutsche Telekom (DT) for its pan-European network, which spans almost 9000 km and links Germany with most major European markets. Infinera’s DTN network also received a 4-Diamond rating in Broadband Gear Report’s 2008 Diamond Technology Reviews, an award that recognizes innovative product achievements in the broadband sector. Jagdeep Singh, president and CEO of Infinera, said, “Our expected Q2 results and the recently announced DT win demonstrate that Infinera continues to win in the DWDM marketplace. We believe this is because we offer the world’s best optical solutions and because we provide the only viable path with which customers can scale their networks to meet bandwidth growth needs into the next decade.”

100 GbE demonstration: Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA), Infinera, and Ixia (Calabasas, CA) plan to send 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100 GbE) traffic over a long-haul network from Infinera’s booth number SU5607 at NXTcomm08 in Las Vegas June 17–19. The partners believe that the demonstrations of 100 GbE capability mark significant progress towards making 100 GbE products and services a commercial reality in the near future. Ixia will demonstrate an initial implementation of 100 GbE line-rate traffic generation and analysis. The traffic will be handed off to a 100 GbE interface on the Infinera DTN and be transported through a long-haul DWDM network to Los Angeles, where it will be looped back and then transported back to the Infinera booth in Las Vegas.

Fiber components funding: MergeOptics GmbH (Berlin, Germany), a supplier of fiber-optic components and subsystems for data rates of 10 Gbit/s and beyond, raised $8.5 million in its fourth round of financing led by KTB along with existing investors Earlybird, Target Partners, and DVC. Established in 2000, MergeOptics has shipped more than 75,000 modules to network equipment manufacturers, worldwide. The investment will be used to finance MergeOptics’ growth, finance the market introduction of additional product lines for 40 and 100Gbit/s, and finance the expansion into the U.S. market. It newest office was recently opened in Milpitas, CA.

Laser video footage wanted: One of the most exciting projects for the Laser Institute of America (LIA; Orlando, FL) is a new laser safety video that it is currently producing. In order to make it the most up-to-date laser training video available anywhere, the LIA is looking for videos showing laser products at work. It would like action shots of lasers performing any and all applications and any footage used would be attributed to your company. Depending on final editing, the footage you supply may or may not be used. If you are interested in providing footage, please contact Jeannette Gabay at (800) 345–2737 or for more information about video formats and types of applications needed.

SPIE Newsroom award: SPIE Newsroom, the news and technical research website of SPIE (Bellingham, WA), received a 2008 EXCEL Award from the Society of National Association Publications (SNAP). The Newsroom site was recognized in the Editorial Content category for the second year in a row, receiving a Silver award at a ceremony on June 10 in Washington, DC. Topics covered by SPIE Newsroom are spread across 13 technical areas, from the more traditional Optical Design and Engineering or Lasers and Sources to rapidly evolving fields such as Illumination and Displays or Solar and Alternative Energy. New material is added to the site daily. The SPIE Newsroom website was launched in early 2006.

OSA journal rankings: The Optical Society of America (OSA; Washington, DC) announced that based on “impact factor,” or the number of citations compared to the number of papers published, its journals Optics Letters and Optics Express are the most heavily cited journals in optics and photonics. According to the 2007 Journal Citation Report, the Thomson Reuters rankings for journal citations, these two publications received the highest impact factor rankings of all optics journals. OSA president Rod C. Alferness said, “Year after year, our journals lead the field in providing critical, high-quality, peer-reviewed research, and based on the citations of the papers published, it’s clear that the community looks to them to set the standard of excellence.”

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