Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Goldlay House,
114 Parkway,
Chelmsford Essex CM2 7PR
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 1245 491 499

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Photonics News Magazine - Issue 61

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Chris Varney CEO LCUK

Dear Colleagues

It is pretty fascinating how light can be used in such diverse ways, whether seeing through trees, producing seamless garments, 3D Tetris shipbuilding or determining moviegoers’ moods. This issue of Photonics News highlights such varied applications.

Increasingly sensitive optical detection systems mean that fewer and fewer photons are now required in sensors thus making instruments smaller, cheaper, and require less electrical power. Already many sensors are wearable. We can all relate to a photographic camera that once was something the size
of a small cabbage, and is now smaller than a sugar cube within a smart phone that also does countless other things, unlike the SLR camera that just takes photos. Couple such optical systems with timing of light pulses reflected off a forest floor, then we have the making of drone borne cameras capable of seeing through tree canopies to map the terrain. Seems like magic.

Since light can be focussed and manipulated across a surface with lightning speed, engineers in Switzerland have developed seamless joins in clothing whilst maintaining the mechanical integrity of a single sheet fabric without a join. Instead of needle and thread, lasers now produce garments that have no joins, increasing strength and removing weak seams that might tear.

Laser beams have a convenient property of travelling in straight lines with much less divergence than an incandescent lightbulb with collimating optics. The laser beam can also be produced with a small diameter spot of light.
These two properties allow us to see the beam for greater distances. Placing a position sensitive detector on the optical axis gives us a means of measuring straightness to many orders of magnitude greater than the Romans achieved two thousand years ago when building straight roads in the UK and mainland Europe. With micron precision, shipbuilding has taken on a new level of construction akin to precision three dimensional Tetris. Read the article!

It is also fascinating to see a form of translation into photonics that might have been the predominant domain of another technology. Humans and especially dogs are pretty good at distinguishing between smells that rely on our olfactory sensors, i.e. chemoreception that forms the sense of smell. We can do a pretty good job using photonics instead of chemicals, but with con- siderably faster acquisition. In this case spectroscopy allows us to measure the absorption of certain airborne chemicals in a space occupied by humans, such as in a cinema, and coupled with sophisticated algorithms various odours give an amazing insight in to deducing the feelings of moviegoers.

Please look at our selection of products in the latter pages, each with more detail found on our website. And please do pop by our booth at Photonex Europe in Coventry at the Ricoh Arena, it will be a pleasure to meet you.


Chris Varney

Lasers for Leisure Time

  • Building Cruise Liners
    Optoelectronic positioning at MEYER WERFT
  • A Glimpse into the Future
    Are lasers soon tailoring sports clothing?

Technologies in Use

  • Piercing through the Jungle
    Optoelectronic LiDAR measuring uncovers the secrets of ancient civilizations.

Summer Time – Movie Time?

  • Digital Cinema
    The first cinemas as using RGB laser projectors
  • The Smell of Suspense
    Scientists use IR spectrometry to measure emotions in movie theatres

    Filters Set for Pyro Detectors

    LASER COMPONENTS is the first manufacturer to offer its pyroelectric detectors with narrow-band IR filters for NO2 measuring (filter option V). This...

    SIC Photodiode

    The long standing ifw ­Optronics UV photodiode series has been a work-horse detector for decades now. This is, in part, due to the high resilience of...

    Many applications can benefit using a single laser machine which can switch between different wavelengths for different processes with high precision...

    Alongside our industry familiar E-beam coatings, offered since 1986, LASER COMPONENTS now has Ion ­Assisted Deposition (IAD) and Ion Beam ­Sputtering...


    The WaveEye is a particularly compact and versatile wavelength measuring device for cw or quasi-cw lasers between 450 nm and 950 nm. The measurement...

    Fiber Optical Modulator

    LASER COMPONENTS offers optical modulators (MXER-LN) in the range of 1530 nm to 1625 nm dedicated to fibre sensing applications. Such applications...

    CrystaLatch™ 1×6 Optical Reflection Switch

    LASER COMPONENTS presents the Agiltron CrystaLatch (CL) series of optical switches that are specifically designed for sensor and LiDAR applications....

    FP-LR-L Series

    With its FLEXPOINT® Long Range Line Module, LASER COMPONENTS has developed a highly-precise positioning tool for long distances. Even at 50 m, the...

    FLEXPOINT<sup>&reg;</sup> Laser Diode Module MVnano

    The presence and size of gaps can have a big impact on the performance of products especially in the automotive, aerospace and transport industry....

    Conversion Screens

    LASER COMPONENTS has added three new models to its portfolio of IR sensor cards: LDT-007BN for low-power Nd:YAG lasers converts IR radiation of 700...

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    +44 1245 491499