OPTICS INDUSTRY REPORT

Spectroscopy instrumentation developer Polychromix (Wilmington, MA) is collaborating with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; Washington, D.C.) to provide digital-transform-spectrometer tools for determining water content on the surface of the moon.

Dec 1st, 2006

Polychromix partners with NASA

Spectroscopy instrumentation developer Polychromix (Wilmington, MA) is collaborating with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; Washington, D.C.) to provide digital-transform-spectrometer tools for determining water content on the surface of the moon. Under the agreement, NASA will outfit the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) with Polychromix near-infrared spectrometers.

NASA said it chose Polychromix’s technology because of its low power consumption, small size, low weight, and reliability. Much of NASA’s planned scientific exploration is geared to the search for lunar ice, which astronauts could drink and convert to rocket fuel. The LCROSS mission may pave the way for humans to return to the moon.

NuSil and FMI collaborate on silicone lenses

NuSil Technology (Carpinteria, CA), a manufacturer of silicone-based materials for health care, aerospace, electronics, and photonics, and FMI (Elk Grove Village, IL), a leading silicone-rubber molder of optical components for the medical device industry, announced a joint effort to develop silicone lenses for optical applications. The agreement addresses the growing need for optically clear, protective lenses for high-brightness light-emitting diodes (HBLEDs), optical sensors, and other photonic applications.

Silicone lenses offer photonic-device packagers unparalleled compatibility with softer silicone encapsulants. Silicones resist temperature and UV exposure, which are common to the latest generation of HBLED devices.

Cluster gets Canadian funding

The federal government of Canada says it is awarding $643,608 in nonrepayable funding to support the activities of the Quebec Photonic Network (QPN; Montreal, QC, Canada). The QPN is a nonprofit industrial cluster formed to contribute to the advancement of the Quebec optics-photonics industry. An active member of the Canadian Photonics Consortium, the QPN is involved in the joint development of a number of international activities. Today, the QPN and the Ottawa Photonics Cluster together account for one of the highest concentrations of photonics enterprises in Canada, all within a corridor of 500 km.

OSA elects VP and directors

Thomas Baer, executive director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center at Stanford University, has been elected 2007 vice president of the Optical Society of America (OSA; Washington, D.C.). In addition, Thomas Elsaesser of Max-Born Institute (Germany), Lenore McMackin of nLine (Austin, TX), and Philip Russell of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany), were elected as new directors at large.

By accepting the vice presidency, Baer makes a four-year commitment to OSA’s board of directors. As vice president, Baer will automatically become president-elect in 2008 and then the society’s president in 2009. The new directors at large will hold their positions for three years.

Fusion Optix expands prototyping capabilities

Fusion Optix (Cambridge, MA) will build a specialty coating line and semiconductor-grade Class 100 clean room to be housed within the Fusion Optix Technology Center (FOTC) in Cambridge, MA, for the purpose of high-quality, fully functional engineering of prototypes of optical films. In response to a strong demand in the liquid-crystal-display sector, this new capability is designed to produce multifunctional films for handheld and monitor-size displays.

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Also in the news . . .

Bioident Technologies, a subsidiary of Nanoident Technologies (Linz, Austria) that is developing photonic lab-on-a-chip solutions for life sciences, opened its headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. . . . CVI Technical Optics (Onchan, Isle of Man) expanded its distribution agreement for optics components and integrated optomechanical assemblies with BFi OPTiLAS to include the United Kingdom. . . . Yale University (New Haven, CT) has established the Yale Institute for Nanoscience and Quantum Engineering, which will unite and expand Yale’s existing efforts in the two areas. . . . PennWell (Tulsa, OK; publisher of Laser Focus World) created a new online employment service called PennTechJOBS (www.PennTechJobs.com) that will serve the recruitment needs of engineers working in the communications, optics and photonics, optoelectronics, and semiconductor manufacturing industries. . . . Imago Scientific Instruments (Madison, WI) has sold two atom-probe microscopes to Oxford University’s (Oxford, England) Department of Materials, a technology center for microanalysis and nanoscale materials research. . . . Breault Research Organization (BRO; Tucson, AZ) released the next generation of its Advanced Systems Analysis Program (ASAP) software for virtual prototyping of optical systems and devices.

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