Imaging & Detector Industry Report

Halma acquires Ocean Optics; NIST report sees bright future for LIDAR; Universal Display partners with PARC; MORE...

Aug 1st, 2004

Halma acquires Ocean Optics

Halma (Amersham, Englalnd), a leading safety and environmental-technology group, is acquiring Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL), a supplier of optical sensing and electro-optics systems. The purchase price includes an initial cash consideration of $25 million (£13.6 million) to be funded from Halma's existing cash resources. Ocean Optics will become part of Halma's Optics and Specialist Technology Sector.

The deal assumes net assets at completion of $6.1 million (£3.3 million); any adjustment to net assets at completion will result in a dollar-for-dollar adjustment. Additional payments of up to $25 million (£13.6 million) are conditional upon profits growth of this business of more than 100% between April 2004 and March 2006. Audited accounts for the year ended Dec. 21, 2003, show that Ocean Optics generated profit before tax of $4.6 million (£2.5 million) on sales of $25.2 million (£13.7 million).

NIST report sees bright future for LIDAR

A new National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Gaithersburg, MD) report predicts "tremendous" applications for LIDAR (light detection and ranging) and argues for a vigorous effort to create next-generation LIDAR. The results, says study director William Stone, "could be comparable to the advances achieved when computers were first matched with machinery."

NIST is testing LIDAR as a tool for remote management of construction sites and for navigating unmanned military vehicles. (The latter research could soon lead to collision-avoidance advances for civilian automobiles.) To spur greater LIDAR industrial use, NIST is also working to develop test objects for LIDAR performance standards so the industry can have confidence in laser-scanning readings and comparison of systems.

Other LIDAR research currently under way at NIST includes work on rapid, long-range automated identification systems for remote scanning and inventory of construction materials, automated LIDAR-based docking systems for building-construction cranes, and basic scientific and engineering research that will enable development of miniature, high-resolution, low-cost, next-generation LIDAR systems.

Universal Display partners with PARC

Universal Display (Ewing, NJ) and Palo Alto Research Center (PARC; Palo Alto, CA) are collaborating on the development of poly-silicon (poly-Si) thin-film-transistor (TFT) backplane technology on metal foil. The backplanes will integrate Universal Display's high-efficiency phosphorescent OLED, flexible OLED, and top-emitting OLED technologies.

This collaboration is funded in part by Universal Display's recently announced contract with L-3 Display Communications Systems under an Air Force Research Laboratory program to develop next-generation mobile-communications technology. PARC is also participating as a subcontractor to Universal Display under a Small Business Innovation Research Phase II contract from the U.S. Army Communication Electronics Research and Development Engineering Center (Fort Monmouth, NJ) that Universal Display announced last year.

Joint project focuses on video over GigE

Pleora Technologies (Ottawa, Canada) is working with The JAI Group (Copenhagen, Denmark) to develop industrial vision solutions that deliver video and imaging data over high-performance, low-cost GigE connections. Under the agreement, Pleora and JAI will jointly produce GigE connectivity products that allow world-class industrial cameras in the JAI and PULNiX product lines to stream data in real time across standard GigE links.

Also in the news . . .

The U.S. Display Consortium awarded a research and development contract to Lumileds (San Jose, CA) to develop LED-based illuminators for projection-display applications. The $2 million project will be cost-shared equally between the USDC and Lumileds. . . . CAS Medical Systems (Branford, CT) has been awarded a $1 million Small Business Innovative Research Phase II grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health for an optical noninvasive brain-oxygenation monitor. The grant will be used to continue the development of a new technology that can measure the brain oxygenation of an adult patient in a noninvasive manner. . . . NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has awarded ITT Industries' (White Plains, NY) Aerospace/Communications Division a $20 million contract to develop a hyperspectral environmental suite that will go on next-generation weather satellites to provide vertical atmospheric and wind-vector profiles surrounding the warm core of cyclones and hurricanes. . . . The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) is working with Evident Technologies (Troy, NY) to develop and demonstrate new, efficient white light–emitting diodes (LEDs) for use in general illumination.

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