OPTICS INDUSTRY REPORT

Breault Research Organization (BRO; Tucson, AZ) will provide key test and service line equipment to Synodon (Edmonton, AB, Canada), providing the first optical service system for wide-range aerial inspection of gas pipelines.

Sep 1st, 2006

BRO to provide pipeline inspection equipment

Breault Research Organization (BRO; Tucson, AZ) will provide key test and service line equipment to Synodon (Edmonton, AB, Canada), providing the first optical service system for wide-range aerial inspection of gas pipelines. Synodon has awarded BRO a contract to fabricate, assemble and test a protoflight version of Synodon’s realSens radiometer designed to identify gas pipeline leaks using correlation spectroscopy.

According to Synodon CEO Adrian Banica, once the verification of the device is complete, Synodon will subcontract to BRO the fabrication of up to 25 more units over the next five years.

Bruker BioSciences acquires Bruker Optics

Spectroscopy instrumentation company Bruker Optics was acquired by Bruker BioSciences (Billerica, MA) for $135 million, payable approximately 59% in cash and 41% in stock. Bruker Optics is a developer, manufacturer, and provider of research, analytical, and process analysis instruments and solutions based on infrared and Raman molecular spectroscopy technology.

Bruker BioSciences is the parent company of Bruker Daltonics and Bruker AXS. Bruker AXS is a developer and provider of life-science, materials-research, and industrial x-ray-analysis tools. Bruker Daltonics is a developer and provider of life-science tools based on mass spectrometry, and also offers a broad line of nuclear, biological, and chemical detection products for homeland security.

PI/Acton and LSI partner on spectroscopy

Princeton Instruments/Acton (both Trenton, NJ) and Lambda Solutions (LSI; Waltham, MA) have formed a strategic partnership to develop and deploy LSI’s spectroscopy solutions to end-user and OEM customers.

According to the companies, combining PI/Acton’s ISO manufacturing and engineering design expertise with LSI’s knowledge of the Raman spectroscopy market will yield highly targeted solutions matched to specialized application demands. PI/Acton, which designs and manufactures high-performance camera, spectrograph, and optics-based solutions for the imaging, x-ray, spectroscopy, and surveillance markets, will bring scalability to LSI’s manufacturing needs as well as custom detection solutions to be incorporated into its current and planned suite of Raman solutions.

Digital Optics to be acquired by Tessera

Tessera Technologies (San Jose, CA) signed a definitive agreement to purchase Digital Optics (Charlotte, NC), a provider of micro-optic solutions, for $59.5 million in cash. Digital Optics will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Tessera and its 100,000 sq. ft. facility will become a Micro-Optics Center of Excellence. Tessera expects Digital Optics to contribute services revenue ranging from $7 million to $8 million this year.

The Digital Optics team and key technology will be components in Tessera’s development of low-cost, miniaturized imaging solutions for consumer optics applications, such as camera phones, next-generation DVD players, and automotive applications.

AMO report takes U.S. government to task

The federal government should reinforce its commitment to research in atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) science, according to a report from the National Academies’ National Research Council (Washington, D.C.). The report, which highlights six main “challenges” in physics that could directly impact the technology and economy of the future.

AMO science has made possible many advances in electronics, energy, medicine, and national security. While funding for AMO science at the U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and National Institute of Standards and Technology has increased by an average of 26%, funding for the physical sciences overall has remained flat and at times decreased over the past decade.

Also in the news . . .

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency selected Lumera (Bothell, WA) among competing companies for a $3.45 million contract (with follow-on contracts of $2.43 million for a total of $5.8 million) to build electro-optic polymer modulators used in terrestrial and satellite RF photonic links and phased-array radar for critical defense applications. . . . Siemens Automation and Drives Group (Nurnberg, Germany) acquired Opto-Control Elektronik Prüfsysteme (Bochum, Germany) to add high-precision automatic optical inspection (AOI) systems to its Siplace surface-mount technology business. . . . Nikon (Tokyo, Japan) is collaborating with Oxide (Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan) in order to use Oxide-developed optical single crystals in Nikon products. . . . ESO, the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, created the ESO Extremely Large Telescope Project Office to plan a new giant telescope for Europe’s astronomers that will have a primary mirror 30 to 60 m in diameter. . . . Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) was honored with the 2006 Silver Multichannel Merchant Award for the excellence of its Web site.

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