Archive for April 2014

Optimax Lens Systems Create Out of This World Immersive Exploration

April 29, 2014

As part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival students from around the world explored the surface of Mars on April 25th – 27th, examining the craggy outcrops of the Martian horizon and rocks smoothed by waters that once flowed on the Red Planet’s surface.

Optimax CEO, Rick Plympton says, “Optimax is proud to provide optics for NASA programs where we are literally helping mankind see things for the first time.  Optimax made the camera lenses for Spirit and Opportunity, as well as the MARDI, MAHLI and Mastcam lenses for the Mars Science Laboratory called Curiosity.  The Mars images have provided new insight into the geology and history of Mars.”

The festival — which was free and open to the public — featured an array of hands-on science experiments, enormous futuristic machines, atomic-particle games, drones, light shows and countless educational exhibits.

Photonics Industry Revenues and Job Numbers May Surprise You

April 23, 2014

SPIE analysis received as powerful tool to promote photonics industry           

Latest update on industry revenues, job numbers wins praise at SPIE Photonics Europe

Data developed by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, on the revenue and number of jobs generated by the core photonics components industry continue to draw praise from industry audiences. The data are the first report in an ongoing analysis on the size of the global photonics market, with the goal of drawing attention to the important contributions photonics technologies and applications make to the economy and to people’s lives.

BRUSSELS, Belgium, and BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA — A straightforward set of numbers is proving to be a well-received and powerful tool in helping to draw attention to the profound contribution photonics technologies and applications make on healthy economies and continued well-being of people around the planet. The numbers compose the core of the first report in an ongoing analysis by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, on the size of the global photonics market.

SPIE Industry and Market Strategist Steve Anderson presented an update on the report Wednesday 16 April at SPIE Photonics Europe in Brussels, part of a full day of industry-focused briefings. Wednesday’s presentation was latest of several Anderson has made since the numbers were first announced at a reception for photonics clusters at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco in February.

In Brussels this week, the project won praise from audiences of photonics researchers, industry R&D leaders, and venture capitalists for its transparency ― an important factor in credibility ― Anderson said.

The impact of being able to provide policy makers in particular with estimates about the jobs and revenue generated by the photonics industry has been illustrated in regions such as Europe, where photonics has been identified as one of six Key Enabling Technologies (KET). The KET recognition has helped pave the way for photonics projects to apply for major funding initiatives, and has helped raise the profile of the field among young people planning their careers.

However, in other areas, including the USA, jobs and revenue have not been quantified in the same way. Name awareness for “photonics” ― and more significantly, the understanding of what the field encompasses ― is extremely weak for the vital enabling technology that is widely applied in every facet of life.

So it wasn’t surprising that Anderson’s introduction of the SPIE analysis in San Francisco drew audible enthusiasm from the cluster audience, whose livelihoods and careers are direct results of photonics research, technologies, and applications.

The SPIE team started with a manageable subset of the photonics industry, and plans to keep working to broaden the picture, Anderson said.

The initial report looks at exhibitors at this year’s BiOS Expo and Photonics West Exhibition, including only those involved in core photonics component production. These 1,008 companies (out of more than 1,500 in the two exhibitions) represent 18% of the total market in the sector, employ some 337,000 people, and generate $84 billion in sales annually, Anderson said. Only companies with sales and employee data compatible with the Dun & Bradstreet business information database were included.

 The analysis also found that the USA employed the most individuals among the countries represented at Photonics West, with just under 131,000 working in the sector. Japan ranked second, with 121,000, and France third with 28,500, just ahead of Germany with 26,000.

“We have the great fortune to be working in a vibrant area of science and technology, in a field that is expanding in so many ways, on so many fronts,” said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. He emphasized that the goal behind developing the data is “to serve the international community worldwide.”

Spectacular History of Light and Optics at Cosmos

April 22, 2014
“The age and size of the Cosmos are written in light. The nature of beauty; the substance of the stars; the laws of space and time – they were there all along, but we never saw them until we devised a more powerful way of seeing. The story of this awakening has many beginnings and no ending.”  

So begins the fifth episode of this season’s Cosmos, with host, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

This is a great episode to watch and share with your entire family and your entire school.  Interesting historical and scientific background about optics and photonics, well told.

Summary here:,0,259862.story#axzz2zddzxXmk


Research and industry leaders urge Congressional support for photonics

April 22, 2014 : About SPIE : Research and industry leaders urge Congressional support for photonics.

Volunteers from industry and research labs across the USA visited Congressional offices today to urge support for key issues related to photonics technologies and R&D, on behalf of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI). Supported by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and other NPI founders and sponsors, the 36 volunteers from photonics were among a total of nearly 200 volunteers participating in this year’s Science-Engineering-Technology Working Group (SETWG) Congressional Visits Day.

Exelis Rochester products deliver data

April 22, 2014

Exelis products deliver data from high above the Earth to the palm of your hand

Use your smartphone to find a location, and you’re using technology created in Rochester. Same with those WorldView satellite images helping to guide the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

Ditto with global weather tracking systems, devices that helped provide security at the Super Bowl and some giant telescopes stationed around the world.

All thanks to a company named Exelis Inc., particularly its Geospatial Systems division on Rochester’s west side. And yes, it’s a confusing name, since there’s a health insurer in town by the name of Excellus. Despite the similar names, they have nothing to do with each other.

America’s Manufacturing Revolution (The Atlantic)

April 22, 2014

Fracking, robotics, and nanotechnology are poised to transform the industrial sector.

Hardly a day goes by without an article predicting, lamenting, or celebrating America’s decline. The turmoil in Crimea and Syria, the polarized and frequently gridlocked U.S. political system, the deepening income and wealth inequalities in the United States, and the growing clout of rivals like China and Russia are all offered as proof of waning American power.

These weaknesses surely exist, and some—like mounting economic inequality—are truly alarming. But the doomsayers often fail to see the ways in which America is gaining rather than losing global influence. And nowhere is this truer than the manufacturing sector. The combination of lower energy prices, innovative information technologies, and advances in robotics and materials science are powering a manufacturing revolution that will reinvigorate the U.S. economy and make many of its industrial sectors the most competitive in the world.



NEW YORK I. P. makes money

April 10, 2014

Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences. Inventions, licensing & commercialization at UR, RIT & Cornell.
Great technology stories today.