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SPIE Photonics West 2024: New launches - part 2

08 Feb 2024

From Phlux Technology, Exail, Ansys and DXOMARK, PowerLight Technologies, and InnoHub Lithuania.

The second of our selection of new optical and photonics technologies announced at last week’s SPIE Photonics West exhibition and conferences in San Francisco. Further detailed coverage of the conferences and exhibitions, including BiOS, LASE, OPTO, AR|VR|MR, and the new Quantum West expo is availble in Show Daily, the daily magazine produced by the optics.org team and delivered to all attendees.

Following is a round-up of some of the new optical and photonics technologies announced at last week’s SPIE Photonics West exhibition in San Francisco.

Phlux Technology, a manufacturer of avalanche photodiode (APD) infrared sensors, has announced its first products, the Aura family of 1550 nm devices based on the company’s Noiseless InGaAs™ APD technology.

The sensors are 12 times more sensitive than traditional best-in-class InGaAs APDs. As a result, the operating range of lidar, laser rangefinders, and optical fiber test equipment can be extended by up to 50% with Phlux sensors, which are drop-in replacements for existing surface mount or TO-packaged components.

In new designs, the Aura sensors enable 12 times greater lidar image resolution for a given laser power, up to 30% reduction in system size and weight, and up to 40% lower system costs.

The size and cost reductions come from using lower-power lasers and smaller optical apertures without impacting system performance. Also, thermal management is simplified because Aura APDs operate at up to 85 °C without performance degradation.

Phlux CEO, Ben White, said, “Our Noiseless APD technology is a step-function leap in performance and provides tangible benefits for any company involved with 1550 nm lasers. Automotive lidar is an exciting application where the move from 905 nm to 1550 nm lasers is accelerating, not least because the latter is eye-safe.”

Exail, a photonics components developer, introduced its new low Vπ LiNbO3 phase modulator, designed for high-power laser applications.

This modulator, dedicated to coherent and spectral beam combination, offers high stability over time, temperature and vibration, while minimizing power consumption thanks to its ultra-low Vπ (up to 16 GHz). Specified to handle up to 300 mW optical input at 1060 nm, the modulator is suited for high-power lasers generation.

Nicolas Grossard, Product Manager, commented, “Stability and efficiency were crucial factors in this modulator’s design, addressing challenges related to energy consumption. The new low Vπ LiNbO3 device is a distinctive optical modulation solution.”

The low Vπ LiNbO3 phase modulator leverages a single laser source with fine linewidth through multiple amplifications and precise phase modulators. In spectral beam combination, the modulator facilitates combining different laser power beams with distinct wavelengths, achieving uniform intensity distribution.

Ansysand DXOMARK announced they are entering a new partnership to provide an end-to-end camera solution “that bridges the gap between physical measurements and simulation”.

DXOMARK’s tool for image quality analysis, Analyzer, augments Ansys’ optics portfolio to provide a predictively accurate validation of camera systems. The workflow will optimize designs and deliver valuable insights earlier in the development process, speeding time-to-market for products in industries ranging from aerospace and automotive to healthcare and consumer electronics.

Combining Ansys and DXOMARK’s technology enables a reliable solution for validating virtual camera systems. Users first run simulations in Ansys Zemax OpticStudio to develop an optimal lens design, and Ansys Lumerical, to simulate complex micro-components, like the complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensor.

These results are then integrated into Ansys Speos, where a full virtual model of the camera is built. Using the Speos Sensors System Exporter, a raw image of the model is produced and transferred to Analyzer for characterization.

“The collaboration with Ansys will provide unparalleled benefits for customers around the world,” said Frédéric Guichard, CEO of DXOMARK. “The question of validating any virtual model comes down to the real-world data used to back it up.”

PowerLight Technologies, a developer of long-distance wireless power beaming solutions for kilowatt class power levels over kilometers, showcased its power beaming expertise, solutions and support for the development of lunar power infrastructure, as part of Blue Origin’s award under the DARPA Lunar Architecture (LunA-10) initiative.

DARPA had previously selected 14 companies, including Blue Origin, to design new integrated system-level solutions that span multiple lunar services. PowerLight Technologies is teamed with Blue Origin on the scalable surface power infrastructure solution that includes generation and transmission of megawatts of electricity utilizing lunar sourced materials and wireless power beaming.

“Power beaming is poised as a critical enabler for power distribution on the moon and elsewhere in space,” said Chris DePuma, Program Manager, Spacecraft Engineering at U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

Power beaming can provide the means for delivering power to remote devices in the early stages of lunar development and operations where efficiency of mass, deployment flexibility and ease of implementation are so valued. As those sites become fixed in place, some of those wireless power links can be replaced with dedicated power cable infrastructure, and power beaming infrastructure it replaced can be redeployed.

Lithuania moves its technology expertise to Silicon Valley

At Photonics West, the Lithuania Pavilion announced that “Lithuania is setting its foot in the heart of high technologies – Silicon Valley.

By launching InnoHub Lithuania, the country intends to build a faster bridge for US businesses and academia to reach reliable and competitive partners from the Lithuanian innovation ecosystem.

The Lithuanian Tech Hub commenced activities on January 31 as a member of the Nordic Innovation House, in Palo Alto, California. The launch of Innovation Hub Lithuania will gather Karolis Zemaitis, Vice-Minister of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania, Romualda Stragiene, Head of Innovation Agency Lithuania, and Lithuanian high-tech representatives.

“The establishment of InnoHub Lithuania, the country’s technology home in Silicon Valley, represents a likely and expected milestone for our tech innovation landscape,” said Ausrine Armonaite, the Minister of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania.”

AlluxaCeNing Optics Co LtdBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationTRIOPTICS GmbHIridian Spectral TechnologiesLaCroix Precision OpticsHyperion Optics
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