Along with asteroids, the moon, and the International Space Station, there are hundreds of small, 10-centimeter cubes orbiting planet Earth. Alexa Aguilar, a first-year graduate student in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, is helping these small satellites, called CubeSats, communicate.
“We’d like to expand this to what we call ‘swarm technology.’ Imagine you have three, four, up to, you know, x-amount of little cubes that can talk to each other with lasers,” she explains.“You could have these massive constellations of them! For example, you could have a cluster [of CubeSats] here, a cluster there, and each of the clusters has its own camera. They could talk to each other with lasers, and they could send imaging data, and you could computationally mesh all of the [individual] pictures that they’re taking to form a massive picture in space.”
A picture like this could offer a cost-effective way to monitor Earth. In cases of natural disasters, which require rapid response and constant updates, such observational capabilities could be life-saving.
Huge congrats to Tin Komljenović for co-authorship on the article titled "An optical-frequency synthesizer using integrated photonics" in the Nature magazine!
Instant diagnosis of major diseases, the eradication of all road accidents, and the creation of 1 million new jobs in Europe are some of the benefits that will be generated by the Photonics sector by 2030 according to a new vision paper published by Photonics21.
The vision paper, "Europe's Age of Light," sets out a new strategy for the future of European photonics highlighting what could be achieved if this technology is maintained by the EU as a key funding priority in FP9. The paper was created through consultation with the photonics community, including more than 1700 companies and research organizations.
The paper demonstrates how photonics or light-based technologies are critical to enabling a future where driverless vehicles can eradicate road accidents, where advanced healthcare diagnostics allow instant detection of disease, and where industrial production will be revolutionized creating 1 million new jobs by 2030.
Read the rest of the article summary at http://www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/2018/02/photonics21-says-photonics-will-create-1-million-european-jobs-by-2030.html
or download full article at https://www.photonics21.org/download/news/2017/Photonics21-Vision-Paper-Final.pdf
Freezing of gait, an absence of forward progression of the feet despite the intention to walk, is a debilitating symptom of Parkinson's disease. Laser guide shoes developed at the University of Twente (Enschede, Netherlands) and Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (Nijmegen, Netherlands) that project a line on the floor to the rhythm of the footsteps help trigger the Parkinson's patient to walk.1 The shoes benefit the wearer significantly, according to the researchers.
Walking problems are common and very disabling in Parkinson’s disease. In particular, freezing of gait is a severe symptom which generally develops in more advanced stages. It can last seconds to minutes and is generally triggered by the stress of an unfamiliar environment or when medication wears off. Because the foot remains glued to the floor but the upper body continues moving forward, it can cause the person to lose her balance and fall.
Atmospheric changes in temperature and pressure that affect the refractive index and optical density of the air and, in turn, confound the transmission of optical signals have long been a major hurdle to successful free-space optical (FSO) communications. Atmospheric turbulence corrupts the phase purity of propagating optical beams, making it difficult to perform space-division multiplexing (SDM) and quantum-key distribution (QKD) functions, even for twisted light with orbital angular momentum (OAM) and its multiple modes with different helical phase.
To better understand the hurdles to successful FSO transmission, researchers from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, the Max Planck Institute (Erlangen, Germany), and the Universities of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand), Ottawa (Ottawa, ON, Canada), and Rochester (Rochester, NY) developed a comprehensive model to study the effects of atmospheric changes on the phase of OAM beams and tested the model’s viability in a 1.6 km FSO link over the city of Erlangen in Germany. The model reveals weaknesses in prior simulations, and concludes that complex adaptive optics would be necessary for successful FSO transmission of OAM beams at lengths >500 m.
Read more at http://www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/print/volume-54/issue-01/world-news/free-space-optical-communications-atmospheric-turbulence-model-highlights-hurdles-to-fso-communications-using-twisted-oam-light.html
For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that a stable frequency reference can be reliably transmitted more than 300 km over a standard fiber-optic telecommunications network and used to synchronize two radio telescopes. Stable frequency references used to calibrate clocks and instruments that make ultraprecise measurements are usually only accessible at facilities that generate them using expensive atomic clocks. The new technology could allow scientists anywhere to access the frequency standard simply by tapping into the telecommunications network.
Find more on how to link multiple telescopes without multiple atomic clocks at http://www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/2018/02/fiber-optic-networks-help-astronomers-peer-into-deep-space.html
LGS Innovations (Herndon, VA) has been selected to support the NASA Integrated Laser Communication Relay Demonstration (LCRD) Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) User Modem and Amplifier (ILLUMA) project. For this pathfinder program, LGS will develop a free-space optical modem that will fly aboard the International Space Station as the first demonstration of a fully operational, end-to-end optical communications system. The ILLUMA modem will incorporate free-space laser communications and fiber laser technology from LGS.
"The LGS modem will not only provide the space station a next generation optical communications terminal, but will also allow for improved size, weight, and power over previous RF communications systems," said Kevin Kelly, CEO of LGS Innovations. "By increasing communications efficiency, we will help facilitate a faster exchange of data to the scientific community. We are proud to support NASA's mission and drive the evolution of photonics technology."
Read the rest of this interesting story at http://www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/2018/01/lgs-to-provide-ground-to-space-laser-communications-system-for-the-international-space-station.html
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has confirmed May 16th 2018 as the first International Day of Light (IDL).
Following the highly successful International Year of Light (IYL2015), during which messages about the science and applications of light are believed to have reached more than 100 million people in a year-long series of events, the IDL will kick off at UNESCO headquarters in Paris with a flagship inauguration featuring Nobel laureates and leaders in areas of education, industry, design and lighting.
“The proclamation of this annual International Day will enable global appreciation of the central role that light and light-based technologies play in the lives of the citizens of the world in areas of science, technology, culture, education, and sustainable development,” announced UNESCO.
Read the rest of the story at http://optics.org/news/8/11/22
A new spectrometer small enough that it can be incorporated easily and cheaply into a mobile phone has been developed at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU Eindhoven; Netherlands). The researchers say that the instrument is just as precise as the normal tabletop models used in scientific labs.
Given the enormous breadth of potential applications, microspectrometers are expected to eventually become just as important an element of the smartphone as the camera -- for example, to measure CO2, detect smoke, determine what medicine you have, measure the freshness of food, the level of your blood sugar, and so on.
PASSION (Photonic technologies for a programmable transmission and switching modular systems based on Scalable Spectrum/space aggregation for future high capacity metrO Networks) is a three-year project, funded by one of the calls under the Photonic Private Partnership (PPP) Photonics21 of the Horizon 2020 European program, with a total budget of almost 8.5 million euros (nearly $10 million dollars). The project was launched in December 2017 by 12 partners (CTTC, Telefonica and VLC Photonics - Spain, TU Eindhoven and Effect Photonics – The Netherlands, Vertilas - Germany, VTT - Finland, Opsys Technologies - Israel, SM Optics - Italy, EPIC - France, NICT - Japan, ETRI - South Korea) and coordinated by Politecnico di Milano - Italy.
PASSION is a platform based on photonic technologies supporting the development of the future metropolitan communications network, characterized by high transmission capacity, low cost, and reduced energy consumption. New transmission, detection, and routing solutions in a new network architecture ensure a transmission rate of more than 100 Tb/s per link and a switching capacity of over 1 Pb/s per node. PASSION will use a technological platform based on directly-modulated vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser sources (VCSELs) and on multichannel coherent receivers integrated on silicon photonics technology, providing high modularity and aggregating signal flows with a capacity of 16 Tb/s per channel and 112 Tb/s per link exploiting a 7-core fiber.
A mineral discovered in Russia in the 1830s known as a perovskite holds a key to the next step in ultra-high-speed communications and computing.
Researchers from the University of Utah's departments of electrical and computer engineering and physics and astronomy have discovered that a special kind of perovskite, a combination of an organic and inorganic compound that has the same structure as the original mineral, can be layered on a silicon wafer to create a vital component for the communications system of the future. That system would use the terahertz spectrum, the next generation of communications bandwidth that uses light instead of electricity to shuttle data, allowing cellphone and internet users to transfer information a thousand times faster than today.
The terahertz range is a band between infrared light and radio waves and utilizes frequencies that cover the range from 100 gigahertz to 10,000 gigahertz (a typical cellphone operates at just 2.4 gigahertz). Scientists are studying how to use these light frequencies to transmit data because of its tremendous potential for boosting the speeds of devices such as internet modems or cell phones.
Add one more thing to the list of tasks your smartphone can perform. University of Houston researchers have released an open-source dataset offering instructions to people interested in building their own smartphone microscope.
The researchers describe the process in a paper published in Biomedical Optics Express, demonstrating that a basic smartphone equipped with an inexpensive inkjet-printed elastomer lens can be converted into a microscope capable of fluorescence microscopy, able to detect waterborne pathogens and perform other diagnostic functions.
Wei-Chuan Shih, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, said fluorescence microscopy is "a workhorse," used in biology, medical diagnostics and other fields to reveal information about cells and tissue that can't otherwise be detected. The technique allows more information to be harvested from fluid, tissue and other samples, but not everyone has access to an optical microscope that can use fluorescence.
It could extend sophisticated imaging techniques to rural areas and developing countries, Shih said. But it also could have more widespread applications, such as allowing backpackers an easy way to test for pathogens in rivers and streams.
IEEE sections MTT, APS, AES and GRS and Department of Wireless Communications of FER call for lecture titled:
"Integrated Photonics for LIDAR and Communications"
presenting by Tin Komljenović from University of California, Santa Barbara, USA on Tuesday 19th December 2017, 14h in Gray Hall of FER (building "D").
Summary of the lectures and the resume of the lecturer is provided below.
Imagine a bottle of laundry detergent that can sense when you're running low on soap—and automatically connect to the internet to place an order for more. University of Washington researchers are the first to make this a reality by 3-D printing plastic objects and sensors that can collect useful data and communicate with other WiFi-connected devices entirely on their own.
With CAD models that the team is making available to the public, 3-D printing enthusiasts will be able to create objects out of commercially available plastics that can wirelessly communicate with other smart devices. That could include a battery-free slider that controls music volume, a button that automatically orders more cornflakes from Amazon or a water sensor that sends an alarm to your phone when it detects a leak.
"Our goal was to create something that just comes out of your 3-D printer at home and can send useful information to other devices," said co-lead author and UW electrical engineering doctoral student Vikram Iyer. "But the big challenge is how do you communicate wirelessly with WiFi using only plastic? That's something that no one has been able to do before."
Nothing says futuristic 'top gun' like a fighter jet using a high-energy laser to blast enemy missiles out of the sky. That future may be only a few years away. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has issued a $26.3-million contract to Lockheed Martin to design, develop, and build a high-energy laser for tests in a tactical fighter jet by 2021. The key technology is an advanced version of a multi-kilowatt fiber laser like the one the Navy tested earlier on the USS Ponce.
Fiber lasers started as a dark horse in the development of electrically-powered laser weapons that culminated in a demonstration of a 100-kilowatt laboratory laser by Northrop-Grumman in 2009. Multi-kilowatt fiber lasers were already in use in industrial machining, but conventional wisdom said that fiber laser output was limited because optical power was concentrated inside the fiber's tiny light-guiding core. Though that setup maximized how efficiently a fiber laser could convert electrical energy into light and gave good beam quality, it also raised the power density so high that a single fiber couldn't emit much more than about 10 kilowatts without self-destructing.
Researchers at UCL, London, say that a new optical communications module they have developed could make slow internet speeds and the commonly-experienced drop in speed at peak times a thing of the past.
Consistent high-speed broadband connectivity is the UCL claim for its new receiver technology that enables dedicated data transmission rates of more than 10,000 megabits-per-second (equivalent to 1.25 gigabytes) for a super-fast but low-cost broadband connection,potentially to every home.
The new receiver retains many of the advantages of coherent receivers, but is simpler, cheaper, and smaller, requiring just a quarter of the detectors used in conventional devices. The simplification was achieved by adopting a coding technique to fiber access networks that was originally designed to prevent signal fading in wireless communications. This approach has the additional cost-saving benefit of using the same optical fiber for both upstream and downstream data.
Read more at http://optics.org/news/8/10/41#.Wfb9z28R6sw
Get the article from Nature communications at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00875-z
A European research team has developed a handheld diagnostic scanner that can detect skin cancer in 30 seconds. It uses an infrared laser beam to identify blood vessels grown by malignant melanomas. The devices could reduce the need for expensive and debilitating sentinel-lymph node biopsies while preventing patients having to wait weeks for a proper diagnosis.
The device, known as ‘VivoSight’, created as part of the ‘Automatic Detection of VAscular Networks for Cancer Evaluation’ (Advance) project, uses an infrared laser to create a 3D colour image of the blood vessels located nanometres under the skin via a new and advanced version of optical coherence tomography(OCT), a photonics technique more commonly used in retina scans. With it the device can identify the tell-tale distorted and malformed blood vessels produced by melanomas, allowing them to be used to confirm a cancer diagnosis in patients.
Brown University researchers have demonstrated a way to bring a powerful form of spectroscopy—a technique used to study a wide variety of materials—into the nano-world.
Laser terahertz emission microscopy (LTEM) is a burgeoning means of characterizing the performance of solar cells, integrated circuits and other systems and materials. Laser pulses illuminating a sample material cause the emission of terahertz radiation, which carries important information about the sample's electrical properties.
"This is a well-known tool for studying essentially any material that absorbs light, but it's never been possible to use it at the nanoscale," said Daniel Mittleman, a professor in Brown's School of Engineering and corresponding author of a paper describing the work. "Our work has improved the resolution of the technique so it can be used to characterize individual nanostructures."
When being treated for jaundice in incubators, newborns must lie naked and with their eyes covered for protection. Irradiation with blue light in an incubator is necessary because toxic decomposition products of the blood pigment hemoglobin are deposited in the skin in newborns with jaundice. Researchers at the Empa division Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles (Dübendorf, Switzerland) have now improved this not-so-child-friendly procedure by developing illuminated pajamas for babies.1
To do this, the material researchers created textiles with polymer optical fibers woven into them. Battery-operated LEDs serve as a light source for the light-conducting threads. Together with conventional thread, the optical fibers are woven into a satin material that distributes the light supply evenly throughout the fabric, and is comfortable to the newborn. With a diameter of around 160 µm, the dimensions of the optical fibers match that of regular threads.
Finisar has developed a bi-directional 10-gigabit SFP+ module for the metro-access market. The dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) module is designed to expand capacity at locations where fibre is scarce. And being tunable, the SFP+ also simplifies network planning for the operators.
Finisar demonstrated the module working at the recent ECOC 2017 show held in Gothenburg.
Interest is growing in using WDM optics for wireless, metro-access and cable networks that are undergoing upgrades. The interest in WDM at the network edge is due to a need to use fibre resources more efficiently. “We are seeing that globally, more and more dark fibre is being used up,” says Leo Lin, director of product line management at Finisar.
Given the cost of leasing and installing fibre, operators are keen to make the best use of their existing fibre and are willing to pay more for WDM optics.
Spectral images, which contain more color information than is obtainable with a typical camera, reveal characteristics of tissue and other biological samples that can't be seen by the naked eye. A new smartphone-compatible device that is held like a pencil could make it practical to acquire spectral images of everyday objects and may eventually be used for point-of-care medical diagnosis in remote locations.
Potential applications of the new device include detecting oxygen saturation in a person's blood, determining the freshness of meat in the grocery store and identifying fruit that is the perfect ripeness. The spectrometer could also make it easier to acquire spectral data in the field for scientific studies.
In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Biomedical Optics Express, the researchers describe how to make the new pencil-like spectrometer and demonstrate its ability to acquire spectral images of bananas, pork and a person's hand. The new device can detect wavelengths from 400 to 676 nanometers at 186 spots simultaneously.
KDDI Research and Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI) have announced that their successful ultra-high capacity optical fibre transmission experiment has broken the world record for transmission capacity through a single optical fibre (2.15 petabits/second). The group achieved 10.16 petabits/s over multicore optical fibre, which enables 114-space multiplicity.
With a transmission capacity of 10 petabits/second, data for 25,000 Blu-ray disks (50 GB/both sides) would be transmitted in one second, or 100 million people could simultaneously communicate at 100 megabits.
SEI commented, “The mobile communication system after 5G will require innovations both in wireless technologies and in the network and optical fibre transmission technologies that support them. Our new technology would be expected to be a key technology that will support broadband and a low latency mobile communications system after 5G and will provide new experiences and services.”
Researchers around the world are developing light-fidelity (Li-Fi) technology (the use of light to exchange large amounts of data) to augment, or sometimes replace, the widely used Wi-Fi. Developers at Fraunhofer IPMS (Dresden, Germany) are working on Li-Fi systems specifically for use in industrial environments. The use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology in industry is known as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or Industry 4.0.
In addition to allowing different users in an industrial setting to simultaneously use an access point, the IPMS-developed optical transmission technology enables each user to communicate with several access points. As a result, Li-Fi is no longer limited to stationary applications. Fraunhofer IPMS specialists will present this multipoint-to-multipoint-capable technology to the professional public for the first time at the 2017 SPS IPC Drives Trade Fair for Electric Automation (Nuremberg, Germany; November 28-30, 2017).
A chip-based spectrometer that is smaller than a dime has demonstrated the ability to detect methane in concentrations as low as 100 parts-per-million. The spectrometer leverages silicon photonics technology to realize a compact, cost-effective design that provides IR tunable diode-laser absorption spectroscopy (IR-TDLAS) on a CMOS-compatible platform.
Developed by scientists at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, the chip-based spectrometer uses an approach similar to absorption spectroscopy; but instead of a free-space setup, the laser travels through a narrow silicon waveguide that follows a 10-centimeter-long serpentine pattern on top of a chip measuring 16 square millimeters.
A forthcoming NASA mission to probe an unusual metallic asteroid will also be used to carry out tests on laser communications between Earth and deep space, says the agency.
The mission to “Psyche”, scheduled to launch in summer 2022 and reach the asteroid belt some four years later, will test the ability of deep-space optical communications (DSOC) hardware to transmit data at a much higher bandwidth than is possible with conventional radio-frequency (RF) technology.
Similar laser communication systems are already starting to be deployed in space - for example the European Data Relay System - although these are in orbit around Earth. Psyche would mark the first time that such an approach has been tested in a deep-space environment.
Read more at http://optics.org/news/8/10/34
Most beer is made from four primary ingredients: grains, hops, yeast and water. The basic ingredients for bread are flour, yeast, water and salt. Throw a supercontinuum laser combined with near-IR into the mix and researchers say they can produce better quality beer and healthier bread.
Researchers from Denmark’s University of Copenhagen Department of Food Science and Aarhus University Department of Chemistry are using an NKT Photonics supercontinuum laser at wavelengths from 2260 to 2380 nm to study the content of the dietary fiber beta-glucan in barley seeds. Tine Ringsted, a postdoc at the Department of Food Science, told Photonics Media that the supercontinuum laser is directed into a monochromator for wavelength selection and the selected wavelengths are then focused onto the seed and measured after transmission through the barley seed.
A new automated laser provides successful bird deterrent results after a few months of use at a blueberry farm in Oregon. Since adopting the laser as a bird deterrent solution, the blueberry farm each year saves around $100,000 dollars and increases revenue by 33%. Justin Meduri, farm operations manager at Meduri Farms in Jefferson, OR has a 168 acre that has suffered damage to approximately 25% of the overall potential crop volume.
The automated laser from Agrilaser Autonomic via local solutions integrator Oregon Vineyard Supply is used at blueberry farms around the world such as John Benson in Australia and the blueberry research farm of Oregon State University. There are 6,000 users of the laser technology worldwide. Justin was intrigued by the possibility of the laser and leased the systems for the season from June until October. "It has been a success story ever since," he reports.
Scientists have taken an important step towards using 'twisted' light as a form of wireless, high-capacity data transmission which could make fibre-optics obsolete.
In a new report published on 26th October in the journal Science Advances, a team of physicists based in the UK, Germany, New Zealand and Canada describe how new research into 'optical angular momentum' (OAM) could overcome current difficulties with using twisted light across open spaces.
Scientists can 'twist' photons – individual particles of light – by passing them through a special type of hologram, similar to that on a credit card, giving the photons a twist known as optical angular momentum.
While conventional digital communications use photons as ones and zeroes to carry information, the number of intertwined twists in the photons allows them to carry additional data – something akin to adding letters alongside the ones and zeroes. The ability of twisted photons to carry additional information means that optical angular momentum has the potential to create much higher-bandwidth communications technology.
Link to article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1700552
Optical fibers can do more than transmit data—they can actually sense what’s going on around them, including the earliest rumbles of an earthquake.
For the past year, Biondo Biondi, a professor of geophysics at Stanford University, has used a 4.8-kilometer (or 3-mile) test loop of optical fibers installed on the Stanford campus to record vibrations caused by earthquakes, and distinguish those from vibrations caused by other sources, such as passing cars.
His team has recorded 800 seismic events using this fiber optic seismic observatory since September 2016, including signals from the recent Mexico earthquake and vibrations from blasting at quarries in the area. The fibers can distinguish between two types of earthquake waves, the P wave and the S wave. That’s important for earthquake warning systems, because P waves travel faster but S waves cause more damage.
Using optical fibers to monitor seismic events is not a new technology—it’s standard operating procedure for oil and gas companies. However, this involves first stabilizing the fibers by attaching them to a surface, like a pipeline, or encasing them in cement. Biondi’s project used loose fiber optic cables laying inside plastic pipes, mimicking a standard optical communications installation.
The ability to deliver light into the body is important for laser surgery, drug activation, optical imaging, diagnosis of disease, and in optogenetics, the experimental field in which light is used to manipulate the function of neurons in the brain. Yet, delivering light into the body is difficult and typically requires the implantation of an optical fiber made of glass.
"The problem is that visible light can only penetrate to a certain depth, maybe hundreds of microns," said Jian Yang, professor of biomedical engineering, Penn State. "Near infrared light might be able to penetrate a few millimeters to a centimeter, but that is not enough to see what is going on."
Currently, people use glass fiber to get light into biological tissue at depth, but glass is brittle and is not biodegradable. It can break and damage tissue if implanted. Researchers are beginning to look toward flexible polymer fibers as a solution.
A new area of laser applications is developing that could bring lasers into every phone, car, and household. Smartphones, laptops, drones, robots, and cars increasingly embed functions to map the 3D space around them, for reasons of navigation, augmented reality and/or virtual reality (AR/VR), or identification. All these devices require new sensors onboard, providing a measurement of the distance to the objects in their environment and hence creating 3D environmental data and maps.
Applications range from proximity sensing in phones and observation of humans and objects in a few meters distance, up to light detection and ranging (lidar) systems in autonomous cars resolving small obstacles more than a hundred meters ahead. Laser-based measurements are the method of choice, combining high accuracy with a compact form factor. The wide field of applications and the consumer nature of most markets make vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) a good laser source for providing the illumination in 3D sensing.
It has taken more than 20 years, but researchers have demonstrated for the first time that femtosecond lasers can be used to structurally manipulate bulk silicon for high-precision applications. Since the late '90s, researchers have been using the ultrashort pulses of femtosecond lasers to write into bulk materials with wide band gaps, which are typically insulators. But until now, precise ultrafast laser writing has not been possible for materials with narrow band gaps, such as silicon and other semiconductors.
The researchers expect that the results will open the doors to 3D laser writing for silicon photonics applications, as well as for studying new physics in semiconductors.
The scientists, Margaux Chanal et al., from institutes in France, Qatar, Russia, and Greece, have published their paper "Crossing the threshold of ultrafast laser writing in bulk silicon" in a recent issue of Nature Communications.
When light is confined between two partially reflecting mirrors and amplified by some material in between them, the resulting beam can be extremely bright and of a single colour. This is the working principle of the laser, a tool used in all areas of modern life from the DVD player to the operating theatre.
Researchers at ETH Zurich led by David Norris, professor at the Optical Materials Engineering Laboratory, and Prof. Dimos Poulikakos, professor at the Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies, have developed a miniature device that applies the same principle to so-called surface plasmons. The electromagnetic waves created by such a surface plasmon laser, or “spaser”, can be focused much more tightly than light, which makes them interesting both for fundamental research and for technical applications such as sensing.
Researchers at the University of Central Florida have generated what is being deemed the fastest light pulse ever developed.
The 53-attosecond pulse, obtained by Professor Zenhgu Chang, UCF trustee chair and professor in the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers, College of Optics and Photonics, and Department of Physics, and his group at the university, was funded by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Army Research Office.
Specifically, it was funded by ARO's Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative titled "Post-Born-Oppenheimer Dynamics Using Isolated Attosecond Pulses," headed by ARO's Jim Parker and Rich Hammond.
This beats the team's record of a 67-attosecond extreme ultraviolet light pulse set in 2012.
A project underway at The University of New Mexico (UNM) is aimed at demonstrating that semiconductor laser devices can send data at a bandwidth speed of over 100 Gbits/s, with potential applications that could result in ten times the speed of current fibre optic networks.
The project addresses the need for faster data transfer by increasing the speed at which signals are first generated to send through a fibre optic network. It involves a multidisciplinary research team that is led by UNM Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Professor Marek Osiński, and includes Gennady Smolyakov, ECE Research Associate Professor, a senior collaborator on the project.
Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University have developed a camera that can see through the human body. The camera is designed to help doctors track medical tools that are used to investigate a range of internal conditions. It works by detecting tiny traces of light from the illuminated tip of the endoscope's long flexible tube.
Read more at https://www.photonics.com/Article.aspx?AID=62563
An international research group, led by Macquarie University scientists, has developed a world-first optical fiber technology which can help detect a wide range of gases with unprecedented sensitivity, with potential applications ranging from breath analysis to air-quality monitoring. The discovery, which has been published in the journal Optica, outlines the development of an optical fiber device which encompasses an invisible infrared laser coupled to an ultra-broadband supercontinuum generator – two elements that researchers have never managed to combine to a single optical system before.
“The new supercontinuum technology that we’ve developed is capable of being used to detect an array of gases, including methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide – gases that can be harmful to humans in high levels and have implications in climate change,” explained lead researcher Dr Darren Hudson from Macquarie University.
A breakthrough in rapid polarization switching with an all-optical polarization control could allow faster data transfer and open new areas of nanoresearch, enabling researchers to learn more about unseen nanoscale worlds such as drug chemistry and quantum electronics.
Scientists at King’s College London have developed the ultrafast method of changing the fundamental properties of light with light.
Current electronic methods used to control polarization are reaching physical speed limits. Now, researchers at King’s have overcome this issue, allowing polarization to be switched at timescales of less than a millionth of a millionth of a second — hundreds of times faster than current electronic methods.
“The fastest commercially available product operates at a rate of 40 GHz,” said King’s Ph.D. student Luke Nicholls. “We report a switching rate of over 300 GHz — so our metamaterial approach could switch polarization around 7.5 times faster than the best current techniques.”
Read more at https://www.photonics.com/Article.aspx?AID=62569
A handheld scanner for analyzing the skin of psoriasis patients was shown to provide clinically relevant information, such as the structure of skin layers and blood vessels, without the need for contrast agents or radiation exposure. The device generates a weak laser pulse to excite the tissue, which then absorbs energy and heats up minimally. This causes momentary tissue expansion, which generates ultrasound waves. Scientists can measure the ultrasound signals and use this information to reconstruct a high resolution image of what lies beneath the skin.
The device uses raster-scan optoacoustic mesoscopy (RSOM) implemented in ultra-broadband (10 to 180 MHz) detection mode to combine the depth capabilities of ultrasound with the resolution range and high contrast of optical methods.
The team, comprising researchers from Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM), showed how label-free biomarkers, detected by RSOM implemented in a handheld device, correlated with clinical scores.
Read more at https://www.photonics.com/Article.aspx?AID=62239
Researchers from Brown University report the transmission of two real-time video signals through a terahertz multiplexer at an aggregate data rate of 50 gigabits per second. This is approximately 100 times the optimal data rate of today's fastest cellular network.
"We showed that we can transmit separate data streams on terahertz waves at very high speeds and with very low error rates," said Daniel Mittleman, a professor in Brown's School of Engineering. "This is the first time anybody has characterized a terahertz multiplexing system using actual data, and our results show that our approach could be viable in future terahertz wireless networks."
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have demonstrated that security cameras infected with malware can receive covert signals and leak sensitive information from the very same surveillance devices used to protect facilities.
The method, according to researchers, will work on both professional and home security cameras, and even LED doorbells, which can detect infrared light (IR), not visible to the human eye.
In the new paper, the technique the researchers have dubbed "aIR-Jumper" also enables the creation of bidirectional, covert, optical communication between air-gapped internal networks, which are computers isolated and disconnected from the internet that do not allow for remote access to the organization.
Researchers at the University of Sydney have dramatically slowed digital information carried as light waves by transferring the data into sound waves in an integrated circuit, or microchip.
It is the first time this has been achieved.
Transferring information from the optical to acoustic domain and back again inside a chip is critical for the development of photonic integrated circuits: microchips that use light instead of electrons to manage data.
A smart system for controlling invasive weed growth uses multispectral sensors and computer vision algorithms to detect and classify all plants in a field. After weeds are identified, a laser beam is used to eliminate or seriously damage the weeds. Sensing cameras are attached to an all-terrain robot or even a tractor add-on to find and target unwanted weeds.
“The robot shoots the leaves of the unwanted plants with short laser pulses, which causes a weakening in their vitality,” said University of Bonn researcher Julio Pastrana.
“It is thus predicted that we will no longer need to use herbicides on our fields and the environment will be protected,” added researcher Tim Wigbels.
Researchers have designed an optical lens that exhibits two properties that so far have not been demonstrated together: self-focusing and an optical effect called the Talbot effect that creates repeating patterns of light. The researchers showed that the combination of these two properties can be used to transfer an encoded digital signal without information loss, which has potential applications for realizing highly efficient optical communication systems.
The scientists, Xiangyang Wang and Hui Liu at Nanjing University, Huanyang Chen at Xiamen University, along with their coauthors, have published a paper on the new lens, called a "conformal lens," in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.
A collaboration between the lab of Jennifer Lewis at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and J. Daniel Berrigan and Michael Durstock at the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL; Wright Patterson Air Force Base, OH) has created a hybrid 3D printing technique for flexible electronics and optoelectronics that integrates soft, electrically conductive inks and matrix materials with rigid electronic components into a single, stretchable device.
Engineers from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL; Laurel, MD) have demonstrated a high-bandwidth free-space optical (FSO) communications system between two moving ships, proving operational utility of FSO technology in the maritime environment.
Juan Juarez, the technical lead for the team developing the technology, said APL is the first organization to successfully operate such a high-capacity optical communications capability -- up to 10 Gbit/s -- on the move, on board ships at sea, and in challenging near-shore environments.
"We demonstrated bandwidths that were several orders of magnitude higher than all current radio-frequency [RF] communications capability on Navy vessels, and at longer ranges than previously demonstrated FSO technology for maritime applications," Juarez says. "This is the equivalent to having up to 2000 users simultaneously watching high-definition video streams across the optical link."
Fiber-Bragg-grating (FBG)-based optical sensors are typically used to measure distributed stress, strain, and temperature over a wide area. But a different type of FBG-based sensor from Optics11 (Amsterdam, Netherlands) has 1000X more sensitivity than standard FBG sensors, and is around 100X faster compared to Rayleigh-scattering technology.
Researchers from the University of Twente's MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology and chipmaking company LioniX International (both in Enschede, Netherlands) have developed the world's most-narrowband laser diode on a chip.
The tunable indium phosphide/silicon nitride (InP-Si3N4) hybrid integrated-photonics laser has an intrinsic laser linewidth of only 290 Hz and a spectral coverage of 81 nm at 1550 nm.
Before the summer vacations, the AOLab team just received a new patent, second that originated from the Master's Thesis of our member Marko Šprem and his mentor Dubravko Babić. The patent is entitled "Wavelength tuning of Fabry-Perot lasers in spectrum-sliced optical links" and is published as US patent No. 9, 692, 517 B1.
The proof that the upcoming vacation will be a well-deserved one lies in the fact that the last couple of years of hard work resulted in earning a total of five new patents for AOLab and FER in this academic year.
FER and AOLab have become the owners of a recently approved and issued patent entitled "Tunable transceivers for colorless spectrum-sliced WDM passive optical networks" US patent No. 9,628,175 B2.
The special value of this patent is that it arose from results obtained from making the Master's thesis of our members Marko Šprem mag.ing. (before a student on Radiocommunication Technology) and his mentor doc.dr.sc. Dubravko Babić.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated a new level of optical isolation necessary to advance on-chip optical signal processing. The technique involving light-sound interaction can be implemented in nearly any photonic foundry process and can significantly impact optical computing and communication systems.
"Low-loss optical isolators are critical components for signal routing and protection, but their chip-scale integration into photonic circuits is not yet practical. Isolators act as optical diodes by allowing light to pass through one way while blocking it in the opposite direction," explained Gaurav Bahl, an assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering at Illinois. "In this study, we demonstrated that complete optical isolation can be obtained within any dielectric waveguide using a very simple approach, and without the use of magnets or magnetic materials."
In a world-leading study researchers at Macquarie University have proven a method for multiplying laser power using diamond, demonstrating that a laser similar to the Star Wars 'superlaser' may no longer remain in science fiction.
The research, published in Laser and Photonics Reviews demonstrates a concept – reminiscent of the Star Wars Death Star sci-fi laser – where the power of multiple laser beams is transferred into a single intense output beam that can be directed to the intended target.
Zavod za radiokomunikacije sa zadovoljstvom Vas poziva na niz predavanja pod naslovom
“Super-Resolved Imaging: Geometrical and Diffraction Approaches”
koja će održati Prof. Zeev Zalevsky sa Sveučilišta Bar-Ilan, Ramat Gan, Izrael.
Predavanja će se održati od 8. do 10. ožujka 2017. na Fakultetu elektrotehnike i računarstva, Unska 3, Zagreb i kroz njih će Prof. Zalevsky prezentirati temeljne koncepte i praktičnu implementaciju ove nove tehnologije.
Detaljan raspored predavanja, sažeci i biografija predavača nalaze se u opširnijem sadržaju obavijesti.
Predavanja će biti na engleskom, otvorena su za sve zainteresirane, a posebno pozivamo studente.
Researchers at the University of Twente’s MESA+ Research Institute have transmitted more than 10 bits of information using a single photon. They achieved this using an ingenious method for detecting individual photons. They say that the knowledge gained from this study can be used to improve the security and speed of quantum communication.
The research results were published in the scientific journal Optics Express.
When asked “How much information can you transmit using just a single photon?” most scientists would answer ‘one bit’ (either a ‘1’ or a ‘0’). In theory, however, there is no limit to the amount of information you can transmit with a single photon...
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a material that could reduce signal losses in photonic devices. The advance has the potential to boost the efficiency of various light-based technologies including fiber optic communication systems, lasers and photovoltaics.
The discovery addresses one of the biggest challenges in the field of photonics: minimizing loss of optical (light-based) signals in devices known as plasmonic metamaterials.
More than 3.4 billion people are connected to the Internet, placing ever-increasing demand on the telecom industry to provide bigger, better and faster bandwidth to users. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have taken an important step in addressing that need by developing a new type of optical fiber amplifier that could potentially double the information-carrying capacity of fiber-optic cables.
Read more about extending wavelength region of the inline fiber optic amplifiers to E band at https://phys.org/news/2016-12-amplifier-capacity-fiber-optic-cables.html#jCp
Thomas J. Watson, chairman and CEO of IBM, famously said: ‘There is a world market for about five computers’. While this statement would have been accurate at the time (1943), viewed through the lens of history it seems rather silly. In any case, the statement is probably apocryphal. There is no record that Watson ever said anything of the sort.
The trouble is that, once a statement has been repeated many times, it starts to take on an aura of authenticity, even if it is outdated or was simply untrue in the first place. This seems to be the case with much of the ‘common knowledge’ around fibre to the home (FTTH). But the myths about FTTH are persistent: there’s no demand; we can’t afford it; there is no business case; it’s too risky; governments have more urgent issues.
Read more about false myths at: http://www.fibre-systems.com/feature/five-common-ftth-myths-debunked
A team of British and Czech scientists on Tuesday said they had successfully tested a "super laser" they claim is 10 times more powerful than any other of its kind on the planet.
The so-called "high peak power laser" has a 1,000-watt average power output, a benchmark of sustained, high-energy pulses.
Pozivamo sve zainteresirane na prvi Pizza seminar u organizaciji ZRK-a i AOLab-a u petak 27.1.2017. u 11.30h na Zavodu za radiokomunikacije na kojem će Antonia Tomas Stanković, mag.ing., sa Energetskog instituta Hrvoje Požar održati predavanje pod naslovom
"Tehnologije solarnih ćelija".
U sklopu predavanja u trajanju od jednog sata biti će prezentirane aktualne i buduće egzotične tehnologije iskoristive u izradi solarnih ćelija.
I da, biti će pizze od početka! :)
A Florida State University research team has discovered a new crystal structure of organic-inorganic hybrid materials that could open the door to new applications for optoelectronic devices like light-emitting diodes and lasers.
The research was published today in the journal Nature Communications.
Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Biwu Ma has been working with a class of crystalline materials called organometal halide perovskites for the past few years as a way to build highly functioning optoelectronic devices. In this most recent work, his team assembled organic and inorganic components to make a one-dimensional structure.
This year, two decades of laser, optical, vibration isolation, and instrumentation development on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) bore fruit, resulting in the launch of a new form of experimental science (gravitational astronomy). As a result, this year's Tech Review Top 20 list concludes with an especially robust selection of science topics from the past year of Laser Focus World.
Check out this years top advances in photonics technologies at:
The atoms in a molecule can bend, stretch and rotate with respect to one another, and these excitations are largely optically active. Most molecules, from simple to moderately complex, have a characteristic absorption spectrum in the 3- to 14-µm wavelength range that can be uniquely identified and quantified in real time. Infrared spectroscopy has been used to study these absorption features and develop different molecular “fingerprints.” The benefits of this optical technique, as opposed to chemical sensors or chromatography, are that the detection mechanism requires minimal sample pretreatment and is very fast. While high-performance infrared detectors have existed for a long time, the main challenge in achieving the full potential of tunable laser spectroscopy lies in the performance limitation of the tunable mid-infrared (IR) laser sources.
Read more at: http://www.photonics.com/Article.aspx?AID=61166
Members of AOLab, Marko Bosiljevac and Dubravko Babić with coauthor John Downing from USL Technologies, USA, published a paper on ultra-stable light sources in Applied Optics journal. The paper is titled
and it introduces and demonstrates an optical stabilization scheme that uses the drift in peak-emission wavelength of light emitted from an LED as a temperature feedback signal to realize output intensity temperature coefficients below 100 ppm/K.
Engineers from the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW; Sydney, Australia) have bested the world efficiency record for solar cells made of perovskite. The new 12.1% efficiency rating was for a 16 cm2 perovskite solar cell, the largest single perovskite photovoltaic cell certified with the highest energy-conversion efficiency, and was independently confirmed by Newport Corp. (Bozeman, MT). The new cell is at least 10 times bigger than the current certified high-efficiency perovskite solar cells on record.
Technion researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, that laser emissions can be created through the interaction of light and water waves. This "water-wave laser" could someday be used in tiny sensors that combine light waves, sound and water waves, or as a feature on microfluidic "lab-on-a-chip" devices used to study cell biology and to test new drug therapies.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-water-wave-laser.html
Explore the vast world of fiber optic cable lines that lay on the bottom of the oceans, connecting all contintents into a global network.
Get the idea of where your bits of data are transfered when comunicating with servers all around the globe.
Check it out at: http://www.submarinecablemap.com
As microwave signals expand into automotive-safety and IoT remote-sensing types of applications, advanced technologies will be needed at reasonable performance/price ratios.
Microwave components and systems have long depended on developments within many different technology areas to sustain the evolution of the industry as a whole. Take gallium arsenide (GaAs). For many years, it was viewed as “the semiconductor technology of the future”... link to article
By providing the backbone for the global telecommunications network, fiber optics helped create the Internet and helped us learn more about the rest of the world.
Fiber optics were invented for medical and military imaging more than half a century ago, and are still used for imaging, light guiding, and other applications. But their major use is in telecommunications, where the invention of the laser led to the discovery of a little problem... link to article
U zimskom semestru akademske godine 2016/2017. doc.dr.sc. Dubravko Babić održat će niz predavanja na temu kvantna mehanika u fizikalnim osnovama optoelektroničkih i elektroničkih elemenata. Doc. Babić doktorirao je na Sveučilištu u Santa Barbari (UCSB) na razvoju poluvodičkih lasera te je prvi na svijetu demonstrirao VCSEL laser na 1550 nm u kontinuiranom radu na sobnoj temperaturi.
Predavanja će se održavati UTORKOM od 14h do 16h u Seminaru Zavoda za radiokomunikacije (C12-02). Predavanja počinju 18.10.2016.
Svi slušači su dobrodošli.
Pozivamo vas na predavanje pod naslovom:
"Heterogeneous silicon photonics"
o optičkim sustavima temeljenim na siliciju koje će održati dr. sc. Tin Komljenović, University of California, Santa Barbara, u četvrtak, 8. rujna 2016. godine, u 11.00 sati, u Sivoj vijećnici Fakulteta elektrotehnike i računarstva.
Pozivamo sve zainteresirane studente da u ponedjeljak 13. lipnja od 15:00 do 16:30 posjete laboratorije Zavoda za radiokomunikacije (12. kat C zgrade). Pokazat ćemo što radimo u laboratoriju za video tehnologije, laboratoriju za primijenjenu optiku i laboratoriju za antene i mikrovalnu elektroniku. Moći ćete isprobati najnovije tehnologije i vidjeti neke od zadnjih projekata na kojima smo radili.
Utorak, 7. Lipnja 2016. / 12. kat i Siva vijećnica FER-a / Ulaz slobodan
Sa zadovoljstvom pozivamo sve studente FER-a i ostale zainteresirane na Dan otvorenih vrata Zavoda za radiokomunikacije. Kroz posjete laboratorijima Zavoda i niz informativnih predavanja pokušat ćemo vam približiti aktualne trendove u industriji i znanosti na polju bežičnih komunikacijskih i senzorskih sustava, te prikazati trenutne istraživačke aktivnosti na Zavodu.
U sklopu posjete Laboratoriju za primijenjenu optiku imat ćete priliku vidjeti kako radi optički link duljine 30 km (Zagreb - Samobor), optičke senzore za vibracije izvedene pomoću 3D print tehnologije te pokus u kojem brzina svjetlosti može biti "veća" od brzine svjetlosti!
Odjel za obrazovanje Hrvatske sekcije IEEE poziva vas na predavanje
"Do Amerike i nazad – Hrvatsko, američko i životno obrazovanje"
koje će održati doc. dr. sc. Dubravko Babić sa Zavoda za radiokomunikacije Fakulteta elektrotehnike i računarstva Sveučilišta u Zagrebu u ponedjeljak, 18. siječnja 2016. u 18.00 sati u Sivoj vijećnici Fakulteta elektrotehnike i računarstva Sveučilišta u Zagrebu.
In the framework of the European School of Antennas, the course "Metasurfaces for Antennas" will be be held at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb, Croatia, from 5th to 9th October 2015. The European School of Antennas (ESoA) is a geographically distributed post graduate school that has the objective to reinforce the European training and research in antennas and relevant applications. The Summary of the course is given below, and the detailed description of the course is given at the course web page.
Pozivamo sve zainteresirane, posebice studente, da prisustvuju na radionici vezanoj uz trenutno stanje, potencijal i razvoj optičkih komunikacijskih i senzorskih sustava u Hrvatskoj i svijetu. Cilj ove radionice je upoznati kolege, a ponajviše buduće inženjere s trenutnim aktivnostima na polju optičkih mreža u Hrvatskoj te s trendovima u razvoju novih tehnologija i mjernih metoda koje će osigurati budućnost optike.
Radionica će se održati na Fakultetu elektrotehnike i računarstva, Unska 3, Zagreb,
u utorak 2.6.2015. u Sivoj vijećnici s početkom u 10.00h.
U sklopu radionice pozvana predavanja će održati predstavnici nekoliko hrvatskih tvrtki koje imaju dugogodišnje iskustvo i na različite su načine vrlo aktivne u razvoju optičkih mreža u Hrvatskoj (HT Telekom, DEKOD Telekom, Markoja, m.TEH i STE).
Dodatno o radionici možete saznati i na letku koji se nalazi u našem repozitoriju!
10.00h STE d.o.o.
10.20h Hrvatski Telekom d.d.
10.40h M-Teh d.o.o
11.00h Markoja d.o.o.
11.20h Coffee break
11.50h DEKOD Telekom d.o.o.
12.10h KONCAR Institut za elektrotehniku d.d.
12.30h EXCAR project – AOLab FER
12.50h Završna diskusija
Members of AOLab (prof. dr.sc. Z. Sipus, dr.sc. M. Bosiljevac and M. Sprem, mag.el.) participated in this years FiberWeek held at Supetar in the island of Brac in Croatia from 28.4. - 30.4.2015. At this workshop AOLab had two talks where it presented its current research activities in the field of WDM-PON networks (EXCAR project) and optical sensors for power industry.