Optics Inudstry Report

Feb. 1, 2006
Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) has received $2.8 million in U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Man-Tech funding for the development of advanced optical elements such as ashperes.

Edmund receives defense funding

Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) has received $2.8 million in U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) ManTech funding for the development of advanced manufacturing tools to produce complex conformal and advanced optical elements such as aspheres. Geared primarily at advances in precision glass-molding technology, the initial objective will be to create low-cost tooling methods critical to low- and mid-volume lens production runs needed by many DOD programs.

Edmund Optics in conjunction with the U.S. Army Benet Weapons Lab (Watervliet, NY) will manage the project at the Edmund Optics Advanced Optics Manufacturing Facility located in Pennsburg, PA. Design engineering and assembly technologies will be codeveloped at the Edmund Optics corporate headquarters in Barrington, NJ and design center in Tucson, AZ.

Photon Forum 2006 merges optics with finance

Optics researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors will gather for Photon Forum 2006, April 24-26 in Cambridge, MA, to learn how science and finance can benefit each other in the rapidly expanding field of optics. Produced by PennWell (Nashua, NH) and Breault Research Organization (BRO; Tucson, AZ), the two-day conference brings optics researchers and technologists together with angel investors, venture capitalists, and others looking to invest in promising new technologies. Other topics to be discussed include educating start-up companies about investor interests and expectations, overviews of promising research and development projects in optics and photonics, and creation of business plans for science-based companies at all stages of development. For more information, see www.photonforum.com.

PPGI improves lens manufacturing

Photonic Products Group (PPGI; Northvale, NJ) received $700,000 in proceeds from the issuance of a secured promissory note to a major shareholder, Clarex Holdings. Dan Lehrfeld, president and CEO of PPGI commented, “We are deploying the proceeds from this note immediately into acquisition of additional capital assets which will enable us to capture and perform on a range of organic growth opportunities at both our Laser Optics and MRC Optics businesses.”

“Our Laser Optics business unit is expanding its lens and lens-assembly production operations with the addition of the very latest, state-of-the-art CNC lens generating, polishing, centering, and edging equipment and related metrology,” Lehrfeld continued. “This newest manufacturing cell will be operational in February of 2006. At MRC Optics we are augmenting our lens metrology and production capabilities for single-point diamond-turned aspheric lenses. Working across the full spectrum of materials, both crystalline and glasses, and with in-house control of optical coatings, we are now able to rapidly and affordably produce and deliver specialty optical components of high complexity and accuracy for our customers.”

Mirrors selected for ‘most intense’ laser

Optical Surfaces (Surrey, England) has been selected to supply two high-precision mirrors to the Central Laser Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (Didcot, England) for the Astra Gemini project. The mirrors will be critical beam-focusing components that will help increase the intensity of the existing Astra laser by three orders of magnitude, creating the most intense laser in the world. The new development will provide the U.K. with a unique dual-beam facility, delivering a total power of 1 petawatt (1000 million million watts). The development will, when completed in 2007, enable scientists to create and investigate extreme conditions in a controlled way in the laboratory. These conditions include temperatures as high as those found on the surface of the Sun and colossal magnetic fields that are found in the polar fields of neutron stars.

Tiger Optics wins CRDS financing

Designer and manufacturer of continuous-wave cavity-ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) instruments for fast and highly sensitive detection of trace contaminants in gases, Tiger Optics (Warrington, PA) has completed a Series B financing round led by Expansion Capital Partners (New York and San Francisco). In conjunction with the financing, a new board of directors will be established. The company has exclusive worldwide rights to patented technology from Princeton University (Princeton, NJ) that allows it to market instruments known for accurate measurement of gaseous molecules in a variety of applications.

For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . .

Ingeneric (Aachen, Germany) has appointed Lahat Technologies of Tel-Aviv, Israel, and T.E.M. of Tokyo, Japan, to represent its micro-optics and ultraprecise aspheres in Israel and Japan, respectively. . . . Vision-systems manufacturer Irvine Sensors (Costa Mesa, CA) acquired Optex (Richardson, TX), developer of surveillance sights and night-vision optical assemblies. . . . Canon (www.canon.com) announced it will build a plant in Kyushu, Japan, to produce lenses for single-lens digital reflex cameras to meet rapid demand growth.

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