Articles about Optics and Photonics, Lasers, Fiber Bragg gratings and FBG sensors

Differences between fiber optic endoscope and borescope

on September 20, 2019

light-1502758_640It is a well-known fact that fiber optic technology has various fields of application. For instance, fiber technology has greatly improved the way industries perform repair operations of difficult or heavy equipment. Thus, fiber optic endoscopes and video borescopes enable to access or see hidden niches or joints in their hardware resulting in time and money economy that could be spent in complex disassembly operations.

It should be noted that fiber optic endoscope and video borescope are both optical fiber inspection devices. Nevertheless, it is necessary to determine which fiber optic device or unit will offer more advantages. Therefore, a company should understand what they will apply the optical device for before its choice. Some of the most obvious differences between endoscopic fiber system and video borescope are the following:

  • Durability

The thing is that the optical fiber in fiber optic endoscopes is regarded as thin and fragile. It means that the fibers can be easily broken if not handled correctly. Additionally, it is very easy to detect any damage to such fiber optic device: the quality of the projected image reduces in this case, and there are numerous black dots. Herewith, this fiber optic technology has limited articulation capability spanning no more than 90 degrees. Compared to fiber optic endoscopes, video borescopes, in their turn, are more shock resistant.

  • Image Resolution

Endoscopes based on optical fiber technology have a video image display system attached, but the obtained image is indirect. To be more precise, the image is provided by fiber optic bundles that catch the original image. Nevertheless, fiber optic endoscopes based on fiber technology could have black dots or broken pixels. A video borescope includes a tiny video camera installed at the distal end of the insertion tube.

  • Health Impact

Compared to video borescopes, fiber optic endoscopes have an insignificant impact on eyes when looking into eyepiece of optical fiberscope, herewith, such fiber technology has a lower cost than video borescopes that use additional larger PC or TV monitor.

  • Repair Cost

The damage of a fiber optic probe requires reconstruction of the entire unit while a video borescope consists of various modules that can be disassembled into individual parts. Finally, the optical fiber system based on fiber technology remains the most commonly used in various industries. 

Optromix is a provider of top quality special fibers and broad spectra optical fiber solutions. The company delivers the best quality special fibers and fiber cables, fiber optic bundles, spectroscopy fiber optic probes, probe couplers and accessories for process spectroscopy to clients. If you have any questions or would like to buy an optical fiber product, please contact us at info@optromix.com

read more
editorDifferences between fiber optic endoscope and borescope

Military application of laser systems

on September 12, 2019

us-army-379036_640Nowadays U.S. Army Infantry receives high threats, while they advance through wooded, rocky terrain to maneuver to contact and “close with the enemy” resulting in facing the most incoming fire of any army unit. This is the main reason why the U.S. Army needs additional protection. The application of laser technologies is considered to be a possible solution to the problem.

To be more precise, modern laser technologies can be implemented for the use of pre-shot detection, it means that such laser systems embedded in Army weapons would allow identifying enemy weapons before they are fired. The laser system enables to detect an optical part of a weapon (glass) directed at a military servant. It should be noted that such an opportunity for laser technology to see a person and detect a shot threat provides a great benefit.

Thus, according to researchers, the laser system technology allows soldiers to find their enemies without first being fired upon leading to saving human lives and changing military tactics. Nevertheless, these portable laser system emitters are still in development. Herewith, the developed laser technology should be used along with the Army’s existing Rapid Target Acquisition system that applies wireless data links to connect night vision goggles with rifle weapons sights.

Additionally, the application of such laser devices by military servants offers numerous new combat benefits. For example, laser system weapons are used both as an offensive weapon and a “detector” capable to find targets. Herein, there are scalable laser devices, it means that they are able to collect several laser beams or fire in more narrow configurations offering various options.

The application of the defensive laser system for detection may include soldier-fired offensive laser module weapons. The laser beams are very rapid (they travel at the speed of light), moreover, the laser devices are highly quiet. Therefore, it is possible to fire silently allowing military servants not to give up their position.

In spite of the fact that weapons based on laser technology are in development stages, they are already used in the following fields of laser application: firing laser devices for army strykers, the weapons system for the Navy, ground-testing laser weapons for the Air Force. A potential application of the laser system includes missile defense and armed drones engineered for space flight.

The use of laser technologies for military purposes has several developmental challenges. The thing is that mobile power sources are required for laser systems to operate, also portable laser devices pose some technical challenges which are necessary to be improved.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

read more
editorMilitary application of laser systems

Laser systems help to study explosions

on September 6, 2019

sun-581299_640An explosion is considered to be a complex activity that is characterized by quickly changing temperatures, pressures and chemical concentrations. A special type of infrared laser system called a swept-wavelength external cavity quantum cascade tunable fiber laser offers valuable and never-before-seen information about explosive fireballs.

This fiber laser device is versatile and includes such an advantage as a broad wavelength tuning range that enables to measure numerous chemical substances as well as huge molecules in an explosive fireball. Researchers confirm that the capability of the laser system to measure and monitor the crucial changes during explosions will favor them to understand and even control the events.

The measurements by the laser system are performed with the help of rugged temperature or pressure probes placed inside an exploding fireball resulting in physical information, nevertheless,  the fiber laser device does not allow measuring chemical changes that may be created during the process of the explosion. Thus, it is possible to make a sampling of the donation end products by the tunable laser system, however, the data information will be presented only after the explosion is over.

The thing is that the laser system enables to detect molecules in the fireball by controlling the way they interact with light, significantly in the infrared region. It should be mentioned that “these measurements are fast and can be taken a safe distance away”, herewith, laser systems are essential for these purposes because fireballs are turbulent and contain highly absorbing substances.

The application of a new laser system device measures explosive occurrences real at faster speeds, at higher resolutions and for longer periods than it was possible before using infrared laser beam light. Therefore, now the swept-wavelength external cavity quantum cascade tunable fiber laser offers new measurements due to the combination of the best qualities provided high-resolution tunable laser system spectroscopy and broadband fiber optic techniques such as FTIR.

The fiber laser system was tested on four types of high-energy explosives, all integrated into a specially developed chamber to contain the fireball. Herewith, a laser beam from the tunable fiber laser is directed through this chamber while quickly changing the laser beam light’s wavelength, then the light is recorded throughout each explosion to measure changes.

Finally, the detailed analysis of the information obtained by the laser system offers the required data about temperature and concentrations of these substances throughout the explosive case. The tunable fiber laser opens a new way to study explosive detonations that could find other applications. Additionally, it is planned to extend the measurements due to the development of laser technology to more wavelengths, faster scan rates, and higher resolutions in the nearest future.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

read more
editorLaser systems help to study explosions

The improved fiber optic cables offer better data transmission

on August 30, 2019

fiber-optic-cable-246270_640Researchers from the USA have found a way to redirect wrong light waves to improve fiber optic technology resulting in energy loss reduction during optical data transmission. The fiber technology presented by the researchers is based on an interaction between light and sound waves to restrain the scattering of light from material defects – which could result in perfected optical fiber communication. 

The thing is that even a tiny crack in a window or a flaw in a fiber optic cable influence on the scattering of light waves during their facing obstacles. Herewith, it should be noted that the major part of that light scatters out of the optical fiber system, however, another part of it scatters back toward the light source, resulting in such process as backscattering.

Additionally, a perfect material does not exist in nature, even a tiny imperfection and a little bit of randomness in the materials, which are used in the fiber optic technology, are present. For example, even the most ideal optical fiber applied for long-range data transmission might still have some hidden defects. The background of these defects can be various (a result of a manufacturing or thermal and mechanical changes to the material), and these drawbacks lead to the performance limits for any fiber optic system.

There is an opinion that the process of undesirable backscattering can be reduced by using special materials that have specific magnetic features, but the researchers confirm that it is impossible to implement into current fiber optic systems that apply transparent, nonmagnetic materials such as silicon or silica glass.

The new fiber optic technology is based on the interaction of light with sound waves alternatively to magnetic fields that finally allows controlling the process of backscattering. The thing is that the light waves pass through most materials at a similar speed no matter direction. The use of direction-sensitive optomechanical interactions in the fiber system may effectively suppress backscattering.

Thus, fiber optic technology operates as a one-way mirror. To be more precise, the blocking of backward light wave propagation leads to the situation when there is no way to go. The optical fiber system was demonstrated by the researchers, they transmit light waves into a small sphere made of silica glass, which is known as a microresonator.

Finally, the advance in fiber optic technology is still considered to be very subtle at this stage and requires further development. Therefore, the opportunity to suppress the process of backscattering in such material as silica glass proves that it is possible to produce better optical fiber cable or event continue to use old, damaged fiber cables rather than change them.

Optromix is a provider of top quality special fibers and broad spectra optical fiber solutions. The company delivers the best quality special fibers and fiber cables, fiber optic bundles, spectroscopy fiber optic probes, probe couplers and accessories for process spectroscopy to clients. If you have any questions or would like to buy an optical fiber product, please contact us at info@optromix.com

read more
editorThe improved fiber optic cables offer better data transmission

Fiber laser systems promote product technologies

on August 23, 2019

the-laser-cuts-4398315_640Such advantages of fiber lasers as throughput, reliability, and low operational cost make laser systems a powerhouse in the manufacturing industries where it is necessary to cut, weld, mark, and micromachine materials. Herewith, fiber laser systems differ from traditional industrial lasers by their unique features. For example, high-power single-mode laser systems and widely flexible pulsed fiber lasers allow solving various process challenges by electronic control of operating parameters.

The principle of fiber laser operation is based on converting relatively low-brightness pump light emitted by laser diodes into high-brightness output, where the output laser beam quality is often the only spatial mode enabled by the physics of the fiber laser system design. The uniqueness of fiber lasers among other types of lasers includes such features as a sealed optical cavity and a single-mode, guided-wave medium.

It should be noted that a sealed optical path in modern fiber laser systems provides the immunity to environmental contamination and enables not to carry out any adjustment. High-power laser system’s components include single-mode laser modules into high-brightness delivery fiber in fused fiber combiners. Thus, fiber lasers are considered to be a highly reliable laser technology that offers minimal variation over time and temperature.

The thing is that the use of sealed pump diodes and non-darkening fiber optic technology creates a laser system that is possible to be used continuously in production for years without any adjustment or degradation. For example, numerous industrial manufacturers use fiber lasers or disk laser for metal cutting and welding because of the practically equal power, laser beam quality, wavelength, reliability, and beam delivery options.

The most common applications of fiber laser systems include high-speed remote welding because there is no need for the contact process during laser system welding, that is why laser technology includes no tool wear. Additionally, fiber lasers allow achieving joining of various materials due to the brightness and dynamic capabilities of laser systems that were considered to be unweldable before.

Also, now it is possible to employ the same fiber laser in the same optical configuration for a different range of materials processing applications by controlling simply both the laser beam pulse parameters and the scanhead toolpath. One more laser application is cleaning and drilling that were a real challenge for industrial laser systems because they had to deal with a significant variation of target materials.

Therefore, such qualities of modern fiber lasers as the brightness, stability, and flexibility extends the present material processing applications and create new ones. Fiber laser technology is perfect for manufacturing with identical laser beam properties from unit to unit, with no field adjustment or maintenance.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its own technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

read more
editorFiber laser systems promote product technologies

Medical application of fiber optic sensors

on August 16, 2019

doctor-563428_640Advances in the medical sphere and developments in life quality have caused a longer life expectancy of the human population, thus, increasing needs for assistive fiber optic technology, especially, for novel medical devices and fiber sensors. Fiber optic sensors offer such advantages as the electromagnetic field immunity, high flexibility, high sensitivity for mechanical parameters, higher elastic limits, and impact resistance. 

The mentioned optical fiber advantages are ideally suited for the majority of healthcare tools and movement analysis because they meet all the instrumentation requirements. Additionally, opportunities presented by optical fiber sensors are considered to find further widespread fiber applications due to the aforementioned benefits.

It should be mentioned that fiber optic technology is intrinsically safe for such fields of applications as industrial, medical, and structural health monitoring. Optical fiber sensors allow monitoring such factors as angle, refractive index, temperature, humidity, acceleration, pressure, breathing rate, and oxygen saturation. Herewith, it is possible to insert fiber sensors in textiles for sensing applications, resulting in the creation of optical fiber textiles.

Despite the development of fiber optic sensors, the need for medical tools does not stop increasing, particularly because of the population aging. Moreover, fiber sensors are used for the development of a new generation of robotic devices for the medical area that requires a more reliable performance of the fiber sensing system.

At the same time, the features of fiber sensors have to be as flexible and compact as possible to meet the current requirements. Herewith, the requirements for intrusive fiber sensing systems are much higher because it must have an additional quality such as biocompatibility, that is why fiber optic technology remains in constant development.

Traditionally, fiber sensing systems employ electronic or electromechanical sensors that have numerous disadvantages such as sensitivity to misalignments, electromagnetic fields sensitivity, lower compactness, need for frequent calibration and sometimes hysteresis and drift on the sensor response. Compared to electronic sensors, fiber optic sensors have not got these weaknesses.

Medical application of fiber sensors includes their use study of bones decalcification and strain distribution, evaluation of intervertebral disks, dental splints, cardiac monitoring, and biosensors for pathologies detection. Also, several fiber optic sensors enable to carry out intramuscular, intracranial, and intra-articular pressure assessment in prosthesis sockets and strain distribution on the prosthesis as well as on the investigation of actuator dynamics in an orthosis, etc.

If you want to obtain a highly efficient sensing system, you should choose Optromix company. Optromix is a manufacturer of innovative fiber optic products for the global market. The company provides the most technologically advanced fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) systems, distributed temperature sensing (DTS) systems. The company provides a wide range of sensors: temperature sensors, strain sensors, displacement sensors, tiltmeters, accelerometers. If you are interested in fiber optic sensors and want to learn more, please contact us at info@optromix.com

read more
editorMedical application of fiber optic sensors

The permanent washwater monitoring from scrubbing systems

on August 9, 2019

ship-981597_640Today all the shipowners face one of the main challenges in the shipping industry that is MARPOL Treaty that stands less than half a year away. According to these air treatment regulations, the sulfur content limit for marine fuels is required to be 0.5% of the total number. In spite of the fact, that some shipowners continue looking for the most appropriate options for them, scrubbing systems remain the best variant for the air pollution control.

It should be noted that a special document named “To Scrub or Not to Scrub” has been published in order to help shipowners to solve the problem of choosing a scrubber. The document includes information about different types of scrubbers available. Herewith, despite the fact that scrubbing technology also demands a type of approval certification, there are no guarantees that scrubbers will operate within specification without some form of permanent monitoring of their washwater output in the future.

The thing is that the air treatment regulations are still changing, resulting in a huge amount of information and even misinformation concerning the installation of scrubbing systems that finally prevents shipowners from taking a decision. As for expert opinions, scrubbing application is possible because wet scrubbers enable to change the pollutant from a toxic component in the air to a natural component of seawater, SO2 to sulfate, therefore, there is no negative impact to the sea environment.

Additionally, ship owners should pay attention to washwater monitoring equipment that plays a very important role because of potential changes in regulations for providing air pollution control and finally may become obligatory. Nowadays, there are available monitoring systems to control the individual parameters, however, these systems for controlling washwater output from scrubbing systems are typically stand-alone.

This is the reason why combined systems for monitoring scrubbers’ washwater are still in development. The main purpose of such exhaust scrubber washwater monitor is the controlling the PaH levels (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, it is a dissolved kind of hydrocarbon) in the washwater charged to sea, the Turbidity level, and the pH level.

Scrubbing systems are considered to be an air treatment device that allows shipping to remain cost-competitive by enabling them to burn the cheaper HFO products, a by-product of oil fracking. The option of changing the fuel may potentially lead to more maintenance problems and equipment reliability, thus, scrubbing systems are the most appropriate variant.

Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of wet air scrubbers. The multi-vortex scrubber is able to remove gas emissions, dust, vapors, and other pollutants from a gas stream.  It is an innovative technology created to save water that makes it more cost-efficient and differs from other types of scrubbers.  If you have any questions or would like to buy a multi-vortex wet air scrubber, please contact us at info@optromix.com

read more
editorThe permanent washwater monitoring from scrubbing systems

Amazing laser technology that can change human life

on August 2, 2019

A word “laser” is considered to be a light amplification of stimulated emission of radiation. Laser technology is not only a scientific term or a “clever” word from sci-fi movies and TV shows but laser systems offer numerous laser applications that considerably have changed human lives over the last decades.

512px-Military_laser_experimentThe principle of laser system operation is based on coherent light emissions. To be more precise, the light produced a laser beam is emitted with spatial coherence. It means that the light of the laser beam remains narrow across long distances, herewith, it has a tight focus, while when it comes to the temporal coherence, then the light has a pulsed emission over a short period.

It should be noted that the first laser system has been designed over fifty years ago, and at that time it was impossible to imagine the vast range of laser application. Nowadays the development of laser technology allows carrying out various advances that bring profit the modern society.

The most widespread laser applications include the following:

  • Medicine

Today it is hardly possible to imagine the medical area without using laser technology, especially, the use of laser systems for cancer treatment and surgery processes. Additionally, there is an opportunity for therapy by lasers to combine with other treatment techniques to fight cancer. For example, laser systems are able to reduce or even destroy tumors that are close to the body surface.

Laser modules made a great contribution to the surgical sphere, thus, the way to perform different procedures has been changed. For example, scalpels based on laser technology are widely applied for general surgery and procedures required more accuracy. Therefore, lasers for eye surgery enable to give patient’s eyesight back.

  • Industry

The application of laser systems in manufacturing includes cutting, welding, drilling, and engraving as well as the creation of smartphones, tablets, and LED TV screens with the help of laser technology. The efficiency and power of laser systems have revolutionized the global economy.

  • Communication

Optical fiber communication is one of the growing laser application’s areas. Lasers allow carrying out free-space optical communication, while traditional fiber optics use fiber cables. For example, laser systems offer communication among solar-powered satellites that are thousands of kilometers apart. Moreover, the use of lasers is not limited only by an industrial area and it continues growing.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its own technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

read more
editorAmazing laser technology that can change human life

The laser system that allows detecting enemies by their heartbeat

on July 26, 2019

cardiac-156059_640It is a well-known fact that every person of the Earth is unique, that is why they have unique fingerprints and even a unique heartbeat. This unique characteristic has become a concept to the US military’s newest identification device based on the laser system.

To be more precise, the US Department of Defense uses the laser system technology to design an infrared laser module that allows detecting enemy combatants from a distance by scanning their heartbeats. The principle of the laser system device’s is based on the process of laser vibrometry or non-contact vibration measurements to identify the movement of the surface evoked by a person’s heartbeat.

It should be noted that the improved laser technology is not a novel one, the laser device is the development of the existing technology that includes the use of already available tools for measuring vibrations in distant structures such as wind turbines. The researchers from the US Department of Defense confirm that the designed laser system can penetrate clothing and reach a positive detection about 95% of the time from up to 200 meters (650 feet) away, herewith, the presented laser technology is not limited and can be extended in the nearest future.

Of course, the opportunity to use such a laser device from space remains unreal but longer distances are possible. Additionally, this laser technology is considered to be still in its early stages because the laser system is not able to penetrate thick clothing yet and it is required that a person sit or stand in one place for it to operate (about 30 seconds for reading begins).

One more challenge is the necessity to create a cardiac signature database as well as other various biometric identification techniques ranging from facial recognition to retinal scans. Despite the fact that this laser product is not ideal and requires some improvements, cardiac signature identification provides more benefits than some conventional identification techniques, so it is impossible to change someone’s heartbeat as face or fingerprints can.

It was planned to combine the laser technology with other identification techniques creating a possibility to measure the unique characteristic of cardiac signatures at a distance, thus, the laser system offers additional biometric identification when environmental conditions and changes in facial appearance remain inefficient. 

Optromix Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, MA, USA, is a manufacturer of laser technologies, optical fiber sensors, and optical monitoring systems. We develop and manufacture a broad variety of fiber lasers, СО₂ lasers, Ti: Sapphire lasers, dye lasers, and excimer lasers. We offer simple laser products, as well as sophisticated laser systems with unique characteristics, based on the client’s inquiry.

The company manufacture lasers using our own technologies based on the advanced research work and patents of the international R&D team. Laser processes are of high quality, high precision, easily-automated manufacturing solutions that provide repeatability and flexibility. If you are interested in Optromix laser systems, please contact us at info@optromix.com

read more
editorThe laser system that allows detecting enemies by their heartbeat

Novel laser system for cancer cell detection

on July 5, 2019

mitosis-3876669_640Nowadays researchers develop a totally new type of laser system that allows detecting and killing tumor cell from the outside of the shin, thus, preventing cancer cells from their spread to other parts of the body through the blood. Despite the fact that this laser device is still far from becoming a commercial diagnostic tool, the laser system demonstrates the sensitivity of up to 1.000 times higher than traditional techniques used to find tumor cells in the blood.

It should be noted that generally blood samples are taken to test cancer spread, however, quite often these tests cannot detect tumor cells even if they are present in a single sample, particularly, in the early form of cancer. That is why the detection of the cell by a laser system plays a crucial role because it is often too late to make effective treatment of patients since cells detection was late.

The novel laser technology is a noninvasive method of cancer cell detection that enables to examine larger quantities of blood with a greater level of sensitivity. Firstly, such a laser system was tested in the lab, then on animals and recently brought it to clinical trials in humans.

The principle of the laser technology operation is based on the use of light pulses produced by a laser beam on the outside of the skin to heat up cells in the blood. Herewith, the laser beam affects only melanoma cells – not healthy ones – because of a dark pigment (melanin) absorbing the light located in these cells. Also, the laser system uses an ultrasound technique for the detection of the teensy, tiny waves emitted by this heating effect.

Thus, 28 light-skinned patients who had melanoma and 19 healthy volunteers who didn’t have melanoma tested the laser system technology. To be precise,  doctors shone the laser beam onto the patients’ hands and detected that within 10 seconds to 60 minutes, herein, the laser system could find cancer cells in 27 out of 28 of cases.

The laser device didn’t demonstrate any false positives on the healthy patients, and the laser did not provoke safety concerns or side effects. Moreover, laser technology does not harm the skin where cells produce melanin naturally. The main reason for it depends on the laser beam light that affects a relatively large area on the skin so it is not focused enough on skin to damage these cells.

An additional benefit of the developed laser system includes fewer circulating tumor cells after the treatment, in spite of the fact that the researchers’ purpose was diagnosing rather than treating cancer, nevertheless, the laser beam seemed able to kill the cancer cells even at the low energy. The future aim of the laser technology research is its development to identify circulating tumor cells released by cancers other than melanoma as well as in people with darker skin.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its own technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

read more
editorNovel laser system for cancer cell detection