Optics Industry Report

In a milestone achievement for the optics and photonics community, President Bush signed into law on August 10 the “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users,” also known as HR 3, which contained a specific reference to photonics in its definition of an Intelligent Transportation System.

Oct 1st, 2005

Transportation act includes optics, photonics

In a milestone achievement for the optics and photonics community, President Bush signed into law on August 10 the “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users,” also known as HR 3, which contained a specific reference to photonics in its definition of an Intelligent Transportation System.

In section 5310, subsection (3) of the bill, Intelligent Transportation System is defined as “electronics, photonics, communications, or information processing used singly or in combination to improve the efficiency or safety of a surface transportation system.”

“The Optical Society of America (OSA; Washington, D.C.) is thrilled to see that photonics has made it into the definition of Intelligent Transportation System,” said Elizabeth A. Rogan, executive director of OSA Congress. “And the administration clearly recognizes the importance of the contributions of optics and photonics to transportation needs.”

Axsys receives $4.4M order for IR lenses

Axsys Technologies (Rocky Hill, CT) received a $4.4 million order to produce dual-field-of-view IR imaging lenses for an advanced U.S. Army armored vehicle. These high-performance lenses will enable vehicle operators to carry out all-weather missions, day or night. The order specifies product delivery over the next 12 months.

“We are proud that Axsys has been selected for such a sophisticated and important program,” said Stephen W. Bershad, chairman and CEO of Axsys Technologies. “This contract is further evidence of Axsys’ increasingly important role in the thermal imaging market.”

Melles Griot enhances fabrication capabilities

In a move to significantly increase the surface accuracy of the optical elements produced at its Melles Griot Optics Group (Rochester, NY) facility, the company has commissioned its new Subaperture Stitching Interferometer (SSI) to provide precise interferometric measurements of large clear-aperture and high-numerical-aperture surfaces. The SSI works in conjunction with a magnetorheological finishing system that is collocated in a class-10,000 clean room.

“The SSI is the most advanced optical-surface testing and phase-measuring interferometer in the industry,” said Charles Synborski, general manager, Melles Griot Optics Group. “Few merchant optical manufacturers can produce the extremely high quality optical surfaces we now routinely provide to our clients.”

Ocean Optics expands sensor coating services

Ocean Optics has expanded its optical-sensor coating services in several ways to provide OEMs and product developers new solutions in creating proprietary accessories for chemical-sensing applications.

Ocean Optics can supply its proprietary optical-sensor coating technologies to a client through a license agreement, manufacturing the coatings and applying them to the media specified by the client. A client can supply its proprietary indicator to be included in an Ocean Optics coating. A client can supply its proprietary coating and indicator to Ocean Optics, which applies the coating to media specified by the client; this option is available through a contract manufacturing agreement. Ocean Optics can research and develop a proprietary coating for a client; this option is available through engineering and/or research fees.

Frost & Sullivan award goes to Ahura

Ahura (Wilmington, MA) was awarded the Frost & Sullivan 2005 Product Innovation Award for Homeland Security Technologies in recognition of the company’s development of the First Defender Raman instrument, a handheld device for the instantaneous identification of unknown liquids and solids including toxic industrial chemicals, explosives, chemical warfare agents, and narcotics.

“Ahura has leveraged its expertise in developing miniature optical subsystems and integrated them into a rugged, waterproof self-contained instrument weighing less than 4 lb. Beyond the innovative hardware, the company’s software algorithms accurately identify unknown substances from a vast internal database of chemical signatures within a matter of seconds,” said Girish Solanki, manager of best practices at Frost & Sullivan.

Gail Overton

For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . .

Dalsa (Waterloo, ON, Canada) and Xerox (Rochester, NY) are collaborating in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology development. The class of products on which they are working has not been disclosed. . . . Optical sensing specialist Ocean Optics appointed two new distributors-Kutay Laboratory Equipmentas distributors in Turkey and LAO Industrial Systems in the Czech Republic. . . . Andor Technology (Belfast, Northern Ireland), which develops and manufactures instruments for the global spectroscopy and scientific imaging markets, has launched a range of laser spinning-disk, live-cell confocal microscopes through its Bioimaging Division.

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