Imaging & Detector Industry Report

May 1, 2004
BU Photonics Center building nanophotonics lab ; Michigan Aerospace wins lidar contract; OptiLED partners with lighting technology center; MORE...

BU Photonics Center building nanophotonics lab

The Photonics Center at Boston University (Boston, MA) has begun building a $1.5 million Nanophotonics Laboratory, scheduled to open this September. The facility will enable engineers and developers from different industries and areas of specialization to integrate advances in nanophotonics, nanobiosystems, and nanoelectromechanical systems into application-focused platforms.

The 1000-sq-ft lab will feature ultraclean Class 100 workstation enclosures and both permanent and revolving project workstations. It will be available for joint product development partnerships with government agencies and corporations, as well as the center's business accelerator companies. Photonics Center systems engineer Ze'ev Feit will manage the lab, which is expected to produce a number of breakthrough applications in the fields of homeland security, medical diagnostics, and nanoscale sensory and imagery systems.

The lab will also provide space for longer-term specialized projects and have the capabilities for nanomaterials characterization and qualification for advanced processes, nanoscale imaging of single molecules and subcellular processes, integration systems for atto-gram measurement of biological species in nanomechanical, nanoelectric and nanophotonic detection platforms, as well as other projects.

Michigan Aerospace wins lidar contract

Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC; Ann Arbor, MI) received a $2.1 million, two-year contract from the University of New Hampshire as part of a larger grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to demonstrate its proprietary ground-based light detection and ranging (lidar) system (GroundWinds) for measurement of high-altitude winds from a platform looking down on the atmosphere (BalloonWinds). Such global wind measurements will significantly enhance the accuracy of long-term weather forecasts and it is expected that will pave the way for permanent satellite-based systems.

The GroundWinds system, which is currently in operation in New Hampshire and Hawaii, measures atmospheric wind profiles using the molecular and aerosol components of the scattered return signal, enabling landmark measurements of both the tropospheric and lower stratospheric winds.The BalloonWinds system will develop this proven technology for placement on a high-altitude balloon platform enabling it to measure winds in the upper stratosphere.

OptiLED partners with lighting technology center

As a way to more quickly bring the latest energy-saving light-emitting-diode (LED) lighting concepts to consumers and businesses, OptiLED (Irvine, CA) is partnering with the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) on several development and demonstration projects. OptiLED has signed a memorandum of understanding with CLTC, a newly formed lighting innovation center based at the University of California–Davis involving the California Energy Commission, the state's utility companies, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, and various other lighting companies. OptiLED, which combines high-precision optics with advanced LED electronics, will work with the CLTC to identify emerging applications for LEDs and develop them for residential and commercial settings.

CRL Opto acquires MicroVue assets

CRL Opto (Dunfermline, Scotland), a supplier of high-resolution F-LCOS microdisplays and microdisplay-based products, acquired the microdisplay production assets of MicroVue Limited from the MicroVue liquidators. CRL Opto intends to recommence the production of these microdisplays as soon as possible. In addition to the production assets, CRLOpto has acquired all remaining stocks of microdisplays and ASIC drivers.

CRL Opto will integrate the production of its F-LCOS microdisplays into its business. In addition to providing board-level products to customers in its specialist markets (defense training and simulation, printing, near-to-eye headsets, and automotive and medical), CRL Opto will increase its focus on providing full-color, high-resolution microdisplays directly to customers in rapidly growing volume markets.

Also in the news . . .

Diversified Optical Products (DiOP; Evry, France) signed an agreement with BFi OPTiLAS International for exclusive distribution of DiOP's line of cooled thermal-imaging cameras in 13 European countries. . . . The U.S. Display Consortium (USDC; San Jose, CA) awarded a research and development contract to Honeywell Defense and Space (Albuquerque, NM). The $233,000 award will focus on evaluating military night-vision imaging systems to provide recommendations to the Department of Defense for modifications to relevant military standards.

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