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Business briefs

14 Nov 2003

Including news from NEC, Jenoptik, DRS Technologies, Special Optics and more.

•  NEC of Japan and SVA of China are joining forces to establish a TFT LCD company in Shanghai, China. Initially employing 1200 people, Shanghai SVA NEC Liquid Crystal Display will allegedly be the first facility in China capable of handling every aspect of TFT LCD manufacture. The production line will go into operation in October 2004. SVA says it will invest 75% of the 50 billion yen required to get the venture off the ground.

•  The photonics division of the Jenoptik Group saw its orders for the first nine months of 2003 rise 31% to EURO 240.9 million, compared with the same period last year. The division reported an income of EURO 16.1 million, a minor decrease from the EURO 18.5 million reported for the first nine months of 2002. According to Jenoptik, one reason for this decline is the inclusion of Jenoptik Laser Display Technology in the division’s 2003 results.

•  DRS Technologies, US, has won a contract with a total value of $8.5 million, including options, to develop surveillance and reconnaissance technology as part of DARPA’s adaptive focal plan array program. The award will see DRS develop an integrated focal plane array and adaptive filter technology to improve both day and night sensing of targets.

DRS has also secured a £9.3million contract, including options, to produce kits to upgrade the performance of infrared weapon sites. The upgrade will broaden the sites field-of-view and increase its operating range.

•  Ekips Technology, US, has received a $500 000 Phase II grant from the US National Science Foundation to fund the development of its Breathmeter system, a laser-based breath analysis instrument that can diagnose illnesses such as asthma. “Our goal during Phase II is to reduce the size and cost of the Breathmeter and make it even more effective in diagnosing asthma in young children,” said Patrick McCann, the company’s president.

•  Special Optics, a US maker of precision optical components, has won a two-year, $730 000 Phase II SBIR contract from the US Army. The contract will see the company design and make a motorized zoom lens system to image missiles during flight testing. Special says the lens system will provide high-resolution imaging over the visible spectrum in a desert environment.

•  nLight Photonics of Canada, a maker of high-power laser diodes, has received a $5million grant as part of DARPA’s super-high efficiency diode source (SHEDS) program. The goal of the SHEDS program is to produce laser diodes with an efficiency of 80%. “The key issue is optimizing the ratio of optical power generated to heat deposited in the package,” said Jason Farmer of nLight. “The technology to be developed on this program will increase the ratio to four to one from today’s one to one.”

HÜBNER PhotonicsAlluxaUniverse Kogaku America Inc.ISUZU GLASS, INC.AUREA TECHNOLOGYSPECTROGON ABDiverse Optics Inc.
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