Laser Industry Report

In a move that positions it as a major player in the rapidly growing market for tunable lasers and transponders, JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Agility Communications (Santa Barbara, CA), a provider of widely tunable laser solutions for the optical network.

Nov 1st, 2005

JDSU to acquire Agility

In a move that positions it as a major player in the rapidly growing market for tunable lasers and transponders, JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Agility Communications (Santa Barbara, CA), a provider of widely tunable laser solutions for the optical network.

Agility Communications is a privately held company with approximately 90 employees and several top-tier customers for its tunable transmitters and transponder products, including Siemens, Marconi, Mahi Networks, Tropic Networks, and ECI. JDSU plans to transfer manufacturing to its China facility and its chip fab in San Jose, CA, and convert Agility’s Santa Barbara, CA, facility into an R&D center.

LED lighting aids hurricane rebuilding

Carmanah Technologies (Victoria, BC, Canada), supplier of solar-powered LED lighting, is rushing to fill orders for hundreds of lights to rebuild facilities destroyed by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast of the United States. In the week following the hurricane, Carmanah says it received orders for more than 500 of its solar-powered LED marine, railway, and aviation lights.

“All of Carmanah’s marine distributors worldwide have volunteered to forego shipments so that everything in stock and all production can be rushed to the hurricane zone,” said Carmanah’s CEO, Art Aylesworth. “When we finish filling orders for hurricane relief, we will be busy catching up on backorders for our distributors.”

Lidar moves self-driving car closer to reality

In April of last year, E.U. governments signed the European Road Safety Charter aimed at cutting the number of road deaths in half by 2010. One approach toward achieving this goal is a light detection and ranging (lidar) system that is being evaluated for the Opel Vectra, a mid-size family car manufactured at General Motors’ (GM) Opel subsidiary in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

Bruno Praunsmaemdel, leader of the Advanced Engineering Electronics Department of GM Europe, notes that the lidar system was chosen because of its lower cost structure compared to radar (roughly half as expensive). General Motors is targeting a price of less than $1830 for the self-steering system, and plans to fit it to a new range of cars in 2008 for the European market.

SPI Lasers sets sights on London Stock Exchange

Fiber laser specialist SPI Lasers (Southampton, England) is seeking admission to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange. At the launch, estimated to be in late October or early November, “SPI Lasers plc” will become the new holding company of the Southampton Photonics group, which includes both U.K. and U.S. companies.

Established as Southampton Photonics, SPI Lasers was formed as a start-up company from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) of the University of Southampton in June 2000. Today SPI manufactures continuous-wave and modulated lasers for drilling, cutting, and welding, and pulsed fiber lasers for marking. SPI Lasers’ CEO David Parker anticipates rapid growth for the second half of 2005 and for 2006 as adoption of these core products expands.

Cubic awarded optical tags R&D contract

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Cubic Defense Applications (San Diego, CA) a 15-month, $6.1 million R&D contract to continue its work on Phase 2 of the Dynamic Optical Tags (DOTs) program. Cubic’s DOTs allow long-range, covert two-way data exchange and reconfiguration to reduce chances of losing assets and lives in tactical operations. Because they use laser technology instead of radio-frequency (RF) signals, DOTs are unseen, which means they can be used in hostile environments with very low probability of detection or interception.

For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . .

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA; Washington, D.C.) and the Laser Institute of America (Orlando, FL) have formed an alliance to provide access to training resources to help protect worker safety and health by reducing and preventing exposure to laser beam and nonbeam hazards in industrial and medical workplaces. . . . Sabeus (Calabasas, CA), a manufacturer of acoustic sensing and telecommunications subsystems, has acquired laser developer Aragon Technologies (Van Nuys, CA) to develop a stable, low-phase-noise laser for oilfield and military sensing solutions. . . . Northrop Grumman (Melbourne, FL) received a $124.5 million U.S. Navy letter contract for the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) that uses a blue-green laser to detect moored and floating sea mines. . . . Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, MD) signed a definitive agreement to acquire Coherent Technologies (Louisville, CO), a supplier of laser-based remote sensing systems. . . . At September’s Photonics North 2005, Theralase Technologies (Toronto, ON, Canada) announced FDA clearance for the U.S. marketing of its TLC-1000 therapeutic laser.

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