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01 Oct 2007

Featuring news from Light Blue Optics. CIR, Newport, Lockheed Martin, Prism Solar Technologies, NASA, Northrop Grumman and others.

Light Blue Optics, a UK developer of holographic laser projection technology, has closed a $26 million funding round allowing accelerated development and commercialization of its miniature projection systems. The company estimates that the total market for such products will exceed $5 billion by 2012, mainly in automotive applications, digital signage and consumer electronics.

• Sales of telecom and datacom lasers will grow to $2.9 billion in 2012, according to a new report. Several factors will contribute to this growth, including displacement of copper from networks, FTTx bringing optics to residential networks, and 10GigE representing the first Ethernet that is predominantly optical. New Markets for Telecom and Datacom Lasers: 2007 to 2012, available from CIR, predicts greater use of tunable lasers as costs fall, along with increased applications of silicon photonics and a growing use of parallelism in networks of 100 Gbit/s and above.

Newport Corporation has reached an agreement to distribute StockerYale's line of specialty optical fiber products. Targeted at medical, biomedical and defense applications, the products will be available through the Photonics and Instrumentation section of Newport's website and in the Newport Resource Catalog.

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $178 million contract by NASA to design and build the agency's Solar Ultraviolet Imager, one of a series of extreme ultraviolet instruments that will fly on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites series. The satellites will provide short-term advance weather warning to the commercial, educational and public sectors and promote educational research. The first launch of the series is scheduled for December 2014.

• An IMAX 3D camera is scheduled to return to space in 2008 aboard space shuttle mission STS-125 for the production of a new film chronicling the life story of the Hubble Space Telescope, due to be released in 2010. The Hubble servicing mission is an 11-day flight scheduled to include the installation of two new instruments, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and Wide Field Camera 3.

Prism Solar Technologies (PST), a manufacturer of solar modules utilizing holographic optics, has signed a product development contract worth $548k with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to build and sell bifacial photovoltaic modules that incorporate PST's proprietary holographic planar concentrator technology. The funding will allow the company to ramp up their manufacturing capacity and facilitate links with an established module manufacturing company, according to PST.

• The first application of optical supercontinuum lasers in flow-cytometry has been reported by the National Cancer Institute of the US National Institute of Health. The experiments were conducted using Fianium's SC450 white light source, based on an ultrafast high power fiber laser integrated with photonic crystal fiber. The laser utilizes wavelengths that are difficult to produce using traditional technologies, allowing virtually any fluorophore to be analysed by flow-cytometry, according to the company.

• Funding for a remote sensor being developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory for the Mars Science Laboratory rover has been capped by NASA. The remote-sensing laser instrument known as ChemCam is claimed to be 70% more expensive than the original price proposed. See also our blog from LASER 2007.

Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract potentially worth more than $98 million by the US Army for the procurement of 940 special operations forces laser acquisition markers, laser rangefinder designators and associated data and provisioning items. The work will be performed at the company's Florida facility.


• Dan Williams has been named vice president of product and business development by Konarka. Williams will direct growth and application development of the company's proprietary "Power Plastic" photovoltaic material, ready for market commercialization. He will be based at Konarka's headquarters in Massachusetts.

LASEROPTIK GmbHJenLab GmbHECOPTIKDiverse Optics Inc.HÜBNER PhotonicsSynopsys, Optical Solutions GroupSPECTROGON AB
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