Optics Industry Report

Wahl Optoparts (Triptis, Germany), a subsidiary of Jenoptik (Jena, Germany), has formed a strategic alliance with Apollo Optical Systems and RPC Photonics (both of Rochester, NY) to combine their competencies in the manufacture of polymer-based optical products and light-shaping, microstructured components for the medical, defense, automotive, and commercial markets.

May 1st, 2006

Partnership boosts polymer-based optics

Wahl Optoparts (Triptis, Germany), a subsidiary of Jenoptik (Jena, Germany), has formed a strategic alliance with Apollo Optical Systems and RPC Photonics (both of Rochester, NY) to combine their competencies in the manufacture of polymer-based optical products and light-shaping, microstructured components for the medical, defense, automotive, and commercial markets.

Wahl Optoparts provides optoelectronic and optomechanical systems and polymer optical components. The company is represented on the North American market through its newly established subsidiary Jenoptik Polymer Systems. Apollo Optical Systems is a provider of optical system design and engineering services, single-point diamond turning, and polymer injection molding. RPC Photonics specializes in nonimaging optical design and fabrication of precision optical structured surfaces for display and illumination systems.

Agilent opens optics shop to external customers

Having served more than 35 years as an internal resource, the precision optics design and manufacturing capability at Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) is now available to external customers. Agilent developed the ability to produce high-precision optical components and optomechanical assemblies at competitive costs to support its laser interferometer business and a handful of customers.

“Our design engineers, working with our in-house production staff, have the proven ability to meet the needs of the end user in product performance and design for manufacturability,” said Vince Barich, Precision Optics operations manager.

L-3 acquires optics company

Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications has agreed to acquire SSG Precision Optronics. With facilities in Wilmington, MA, and Richmond, CA, SSG specializes in optics, telescopes and precision optical subsystems for government, military, and commercial customers.

SSG currently provides mirror assemblies for the laser protection system for the Joint Strike Fighter and optical products to the James Webb Space Telescope and the National Ignition Facility, as well as to several classified space-based imaging initiatives.

Headwall selected for process monitoring

The Raman Explorer OEM product from Headwall Photonics (Fitchburg, MA) was selected by Hamilton Sundstrand’s Applied Instrument Technologies (HS-AIT) group (Pomona, CA) as the spectral engine for HS-AIT’s in-line and at-line process monitoring instruments used in the refining, chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage industries. The Raman Explorer spectral analysis system is based on Headwall’s patented retro-reflective, concentric design built specifically for Raman measurement and analysis.

Telescope to search for extraterrestrials

An optical telescope has been erected in Harvard, MA, that is dedicated exclusively to the search for extraterrestrial life. The new observatory is one of the largest projects in Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program ever sponsored by The Planetary Society (Pasadena, CA). After decades of listening, The Planetary Society will now scan for possible light signals.

According to optical SETI advocates, alien civilizations are at least as likely to use visible light signals for communication as they are to use radio transmissions. A bright, tightly focused light beam, such as a laser, can be ten times as bright as the Sun and be easily observed from enormous distances. Unlike radio waves, laser signals are also unidirectional, making it possible to determine their source with great precision.

Zygo grows FPD metrology contracts

A supplier of optical metrology instruments, precision optics, and electro-optical design and manufacturing services, Zygo announced that over a recent four-month period, it received orders and commitments of approximately $13 million for its flat-panel-display (FPD) metrology systems. The orders are from multiple customers and support both new construction and process improvements on existing installations. Zygo’s second-generation optical metrology tool provides film measurement and analysis of color filter structures critical in the control of potential optical defects.

For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . .

CVI Technical Optics (Onchan, Isle of Man) has installed a 12 in. Zygo (Middlefield, CT) interferometer in its Isle of Man manufacturing facility to provide one-shot interferograms for optics with up to 12 in. clear aperture. . . . Corning (Corning, NY) was awarded the Texas Instruments (TI; Dallas, TX) 2005 Supplier Excellence Award for supply of a window that is used within TI digital light projection (DLP) products. . . . Schott (Jena, Germany) will be investing $72 million to enable its subsidiary, Schott Solar, to build a manufacturing facility for thin-film solar electricity modules based on vapor deposition of silicon onto glass, rather than using more expensive crystalline silicon technology.

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