Optics Industry Report

Dynasil (West Berlin, NJ), fabricator of optical blanks from synthetic fused silica, fused quartz, and other optical materials for the semiconductor, laser, space, and optical components industries has completed the purchase of Optometrics (Ayer, MA).

Dynasil acquires Optometrics

Dynasil (West Berlin, NJ), fabricator of optical blanks from synthetic fused silica, fused quartz, and other optical materials for the semiconductor, laser, space, and optical components industries has completed the purchase of Optometrics (Ayer, MA). Dynasil has been a long-term supplier to Optometrics, which is a worldwide supplier of quality optical components, including diffraction gratings, lenses, thin-film filters, laser optics, monochromators, and specialized optical systems and software. The previous owners of Optometrics, Laura Lunardo and Frank Denton, signed two-year, renewable employment contracts and will continue to actively lead the Optometrics business. The anticipated revenues for the combined companies are expected to exceed $6 million.

Ball Aerospace expands testing capability

Ball Aerospace & Technologies (Boulder, CO) announced that its new Horizontal Collimator Assembly (HCA), which tests large telescope systems in a space-like environment, is now operational. The HCA facilitates the testing of optical systems with apertures up to 30 in. in diameter. Because the entire test facility and instrument are vibration-­isolated, risks associated with atmospheric turbulence and air-layering effects are eliminated. By early 2006, the HCA will be joined by a Vertical Collimator Assembly (VCA), which will allow system-level testing with a 1.5-m-diameter collimator system in a vacuum. Together, both collimators will be known as the Universal Collimator Assembly (UCA). The UCA will also be capable of testing cryogenic telescopes. The high-resolution WorldView camera, under development for DigitalGlobe on behalf of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and satellite imagery customers worldwide, will be the first optical instrument tested using the HCA.

Technium OpTIC opens in Wales

A new center to encourage the growth of the optoelectronics industry in Wales has been officially opened by Andrew Davies, Welsh Assembly Economic Development and Transport Minister. Technium OpTIC (St. Asaph, Wales) is a £15.7 million (US$30 million) project backed with more than £6.3 million of funding provided through the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), part of the Welsh ­Assembly Government. The goal of the center is to help boost Wales' £522 million (US$998 million) optoelectronics sector. OpTIC will concentrate on four platform technologies: optoelectronics materials, thin films, surface structuring, and optoelectronic device packaging. To address these technology areas, Centres of Expertise have been formed, including Ultra Precison Surfaces (UPS), the Centre for Modern Optics (CMO), Optical Polymers, and Metal Organic Chemical Vapour Deposition (MOCVD).

NanoOpto capitalization climbs to $42.3 million

NanoOpto (Somerset, NJ) closed on $12 million in Series C¿round venture financing. The total financing raised by NanoOpto to date is $42.3 million. "NanoOpto is now in volume production, shipping its unique optical devices to a broad range of markets, including optical disc drives, digital imaging, projection displays, and communications," said Barry Weinbaum, president and CEO of NanoOpto. In 2005, NanoOpto announced a range of new-product offerings, including IR cut-off filters for digital imaging applications, waveplates for optical data-storage applications, and optical isolators for communications transceivers. NanoOpto¿s general product capabilities include polarizers, phase retarders, filters, and dynamic optics, as well as integrated optical systems and subsytems utilizing UV, visible, and IR wavelengths.
Gail Overton

Also in the news . . .

Biolase (San Clemente, CA) signed a fully paid license agreement related to patents owned or licensed by SurgiLight (Orlando, FL) in the field of presbyopia, which is a phenomenon of natural aging that results in the loss of near-reading ability. . . . The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST; Washington, D.C.) and Utah State University (Logan, UT) signed a partnership agreement to develop and calibrate optical sensors for defense, homeland security, weather prediction, and climate research. . . . Nikon (Tokyo, Japan) has announced the establishment of Nikon Instruments Korea as a Nikon subsidiary in Seoul, Korea. The company will handle sales, marketing and after-sales service of microscopes and measuring instruments for the Korean market. . . . Nikon Instruments (Melville, NY) announced the integration of two industrial metrology business units, Semiconductor Inspection, and Nexiv Vision Measuring Systems under the SITECH Division located in Tempe, AZ, to prepare Nikon for new business opportunities for its measurement and inspection products. . . . German optical systems manufacturer Linos (Göttingen, Germany) had its best year in the company's history with a 2004 revenue increase of 25.5% on total revenue of E$88.1 million (US$113.7 million).

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