How do you think the new GigE standards will influence the machine vision industry?
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Optics has become part and parcel of electronic imaging in almost any application imaginable. It gives researchers clarity in what they see and what they initially thought they couldn't see. These products can be used to see tiny molecules in a living cell or they can be used to view planets far away in another galaxy.
But it used for more than that. A few months ago, Optical Surfaces Ltd. (Surrey, UK) has supplied two ultra-high precision mirrors to the Atomic Weapons Establishment (Aldermaston, UK, AWE) to help upgrade the performance of the HELEN Terawatt laser facility in enabling simulation of the key physics processes occurring within a thermonuclear weapon. In a time of nuclear test bans, researchers at AWE were able to study the individual phenomena occurring within a warhead to validate the computer-generated predictions.
An emerging company is heading into the nanotechnology market. 4Wave (Sterling, VA) has developed a technology called biased target deposition, which is used to create optical films for its multi-filter chip -- the company's main product. The chip is the heart of a multiplexer that combines four wavelengths, each capable of transmitting data at a rate of 2.5 gigabytes per second over fiber-optic cable.
WHAT can be seen?
From Bioscience Tools (San Diego, CA) comes the UTIC-25 ultra-thin imaging chamber for 25-millimeter cover slips. It is used for upright, inverted microscopes with oil-immersion optics and for multi-photon imaging. The chamber is formed by putting a thin spacer/gasket between two 25-millimeter O.D. cover slips. The minimum thickness is 120 microns. The thickness can be changed by using a number of spacers, or by choosing a different type of gasket. The thickness of self-adhesive gaskets varies from 0.12-2.6 millimeters. Half-adhesive gaskets, those with adhesive on only one side, vary from 0.6-2.5 millimeter and non-adhesive varies from 0.5-2.4 millimeters.
CEDIP Infrared Systems (Croissy-Beaubourg, France) has introduced a new range of motorized focus lens for its JADE UC family of uncooled IR cameras. The motorized lens' functionality allows reliable and reproducible control of camera focusing from PC software or from an external controller. Integrating miniaturized motor and temperature sensors as part of the bayonet mounted lens assembly means that the lenses can be easily removed or exchanged on the JADE UC. Auto focus algorithms have also been implemented into the camera electronics allowing fast and accurate image focus. The 60 and 25 millimeter focal length lens are now available with the JADE UC motorized focus option.