News Briefs

Aug. 15, 2006
IPO for IPG: After months of rumors that it was planning to go public, IPG Photonics (Oxford, MA) has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock.

IPO for IPG: After months of rumors that it was planning to go public, IPG Photonics (Oxford, MA) has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock. It is anticipated that certain existing stockholders of IPG Photonics will be permitted to sell a portion of their holdings in the proposed offering. Merrill Lynch & Co. and Lehman Brothers are acting as joint book-running managers of the offering. Needham & Co., Jefferies & Co., and Thomas Weisel Partners are acting as co-managers. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined, but news reports say the company is hoping to raise up to $130 million.

THz sources: Structured Materials Industries (SMI; Piscataway, NJ) received Phase I SBIR funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop a tunable CW THz source. In this SBIR program SMI will develop and demonstrate a tunable CW THz source having high efficiency and high power, utilizing a novel design. Detailed modeling indicates an improvement of several orders of magnitude in power conversion efficiency over current state-of-the-art designs. SMI will team with the University of Wisconsin to design and fabricate the new source based on jointly developed LiNbO3 deposition, processing technology, and proprietary designs.

New president: Teem Photonics S.A. (Grenoble, France; Wellesley, MA) appointed Jay Liebowitz president of its wholly owned US subsidiary. Liebowitz had previously been executive vice president. “This appointment has been made in recognition of the contributions that Jay has made to the diversification of our business from telecom and towards a wider breadth of industries, including biophotonics, instrumentation, remote sensing, and material processing,” said Antoine Kevorkian, CEO of Teem Photonics. “In addition, we see significant growth opportunity for our Q-switched microlaser business in North America, so it makes sense to elevate Jay’s position for leading our expansion in this continent.”

Global sales: Fujitsu (Tokyo, Japan) plans to open a European business support center for its optical telecom components products based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in addition to an existing facility located in San Jose, CA. The company is also creating a new sales support organization in Singapore to handle the Asian market. The two new sales support sites will begin operations on August 1. According to the company, this strengthening of Fujitsu’s global sales and support network is expected to significantly expand its sales of optical components products worldwide. To strengthen sales support for its customers’ global business development, Fujitsu’s overseas affiliates will now act as sales channels for the company’s line of transponders, transceivers, and related components. Technical support for these will also be provided.

Military contract: Northrop Grumman (Rolling Meadows, IL) has been selected by the Department of Homeland Security for Phase III of the Counter-Man Portable Air Defense System program. During the $55.4 million Phase III contract, Northrop Grumman will complete production of 12 Guardian missile defensive systems, modification of 11 MD-10 aircraft and operation of the Guardian systems onboard nine MD-10 cargo aircraft flying in regular commercial service. The Guardian system is a defensive aid utilizing proven military technology to defend against the threat posed by anti-aircraft, shoulder-fired missiles. Once launched, the missile is detected by the Guardian system that then directs a non-visible, eye-safe laser to the seeker head of the incoming missile, disrupting its guidance signals.

In related news, Northrop Grumman has begun constructing a dedicated facility for system integration work and low-rate production of high-energy lasers for military weapon systems. The 11,000 sq. ft. Directed Energy Production Facility at the Space Technology sector’s Space Park campus in Redondo Beach, CA has been specifically designed for high-energy lasers and weapon system applications. The first application will be the Joint High-Power Solid-State Laser Phase 3 program, where a laser power of 100 kW will be demonstrated. Other lasers and weapon systems the company is proposing also will be produced in this facility.

Relay mirror: Boeing (St. Louis, MO) and the U.S. Air Force achieved major progress in their relay system development program by successfully redirecting a laser beam to a target using their Aerospace Relay Mirror System. The demonstration, conducted recently at U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (Kirtland Air Force Base, NM) used a half-scale version of a strategic relay mirror payload that ultimately could be packaged and carried to high altitudes on airships, long-endurance aircraft or spacecraft. According to the company, the payload could be used with airborne, ground-based or sea-based high-energy lasers to destroy ballistic missiles and other targets. Relay mirror systems are expected to greatly enhance laser weapon system performance by reducing the atmosphere’s effects on laser beams and extending their range beyond line of sight.

During the demonstration, Boeing suspended the 15-foot-high ARMS hardware 100 feet above the ground using a mechanical crane. Testers fired a low-power, sub-kilowatt-class ground laser from several miles away at one of the ARMS payload’s two 75-centimeter mirrors. The other mirror relayed the non-lethal beam to a ground-based target board about two miles away from the ARMS.

Submit your news to Optoelectronics Report. Sales reports, market outlooks, and strategic moves are just a few of the items we would like you to share. Please fax information to Kathy Kincade at (603) 891-0475 or send e-mail to [email protected].

RoHS compliance: Luminus Devices (Woburn, MA) announced that its PhlatLight product line is compliant with the European Union’s RoHS Directive, “restriction of the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment,” which took effect throughout Europe July 1, 2006. The RoHS Directive bans the placing of new electrical and electronic equipment on the EU market containing more than agreed levels of lead, mercury, and other hazardous materials. According to the company, PhlatLight (Photonic Lattice Light) produces the only solid-state light source powerful enough to illuminate large-screen rear-projection televisions.

New CTO: Zouheir Mansourati has joined Olympus Microsystems America (San Jose, CA) as chief technical officer (CTO) and vice president, product management with responsibility for product marketing, business development, and sales. Mansourati has 19 years experience in the telecommunications industry, with expertise in the areas of voice switching systems, data communications, and optical networking. Before joining Olympus Microsystems America, he was president of the Jazuc Group, where he was responsible for the global operation of the company. Mansourati also held the positions of CTO and VP product management with Movaz Networks and managed and directed a variety of strategic optical solutions for Nortel Networks.

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