Applied Industrial Optics Meeting: An Enlightening Day 2 in Review

By Julia Majors, PhD, OSA Member, Avo Photonics

Day 2 of Applied Industrial Optics (AIO) jumped right into a highly interactive tutorial offered by Sujatha Ramanujan, managing director of Luminate, an optics and photonics accelerator. Her insight into key components required to start a successful business were put directly into practice by the audience with multiple team activities.

Caption: Sujatha Ramanujan, managing director of Luminate, USA provides insights into best practices for starting a successful start-up

Credit: OSA Communications 

The “Tune and Zoom” morning session hosted a variety of presentations related to guiding light and adaptive optics. Thomas Reitberger of FAPS in Erlangen, Germany outlined how his team manufactures cost-effective polymer waveguides in 3D, which they first design using their own software, built to incorporate the necessary ray tracing and CAD capabilities at these microscopic scales. Freddie Santiago presented some of the latest advances in adaptive polymer lenses being developed at the Naval Research Laboratory, allowing military rifle scopes to quickly change focal lengths without the (prohibitive) need to move glass components. Sarah Lukes also discussed work with quickly zooming devices, where her company Agile Focus Designs uses MEMS technology in their microscopy devices to bring the power of multiple microscope objectives into a single adaptive device.  

The session wrapped up with two talks related to LiDAR, a technology in great need of adaptive abilities. Juliet Gopinath, from the University of Colorado, detailed her team’s extensive work in developing and packaging electrowetting adaptive optical components. These liquid interface lenses feature large tuning and steering angles in addition to sufficiently fast response times for LiDAR applications. To address the larger scope problems of current autonomous vehicles, Moongu Jeon and his group at GIST in Korea, paired LiDAR with the currently used thermal imaging techniques to improve their safety with better sensitivity to environmental dangers like distracted pedestrians.

The meeting turned up the heat for the afternoon session, “Feelin’ the Heat, Seeing the Light,” starting with two approaches to measuring temperature of copper smelting processes more accurately. Hans-Peter Look discussed his efforts to measure the temperature and brightness of flames to monitor the smelting process with fiber-coupled pyrometers. Instead of looking at radiation, Stephen C. Warren-Smith’s dopant-free fiber temperature sensors take a thermocouple approach. Bringing it with him all the way from the University of Adelaide in Australia, Warren-Smith treated the audience to a hands-on demonstration of the microstructured optical fiber device which can be installed between furnace bricks.

The last two presentations of the session were high powered – both in interest and topic. Claude Aguergaray’s work delivers high-energy femtosecond pulses for material processing, including potential surgery applications. Using spatial beam shaping or hollow core fibers, these pulses make precise cuts without the damaging heat of longer pulse widths. For Thomas Nugent and Powerlight Technologies, high power beams safely and remotely deliver power to commercial devices like drones – saving significant time and effort over having to ground or interrupt use to recharge.

To wrap up the second day, the AIO audience learned about the importance of advocacy and policy for the photonics community during the “Optics on the Hill” panel. Tanya Das (U.S. House of Representatives), Gerald Fraser (NIST), and David Lang (The Optical Society) had unique insight into the many ways people can (and should!) get involved with governments and policy making, which can have major impacts on industry through changes to things such as trade


Posted: 10 July 2019 by Julia Majors, PhD, OSA Member, Avo Photonics | with 0 comments

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