Freeform optics technology allows telescope mirrors to take almost any shape, potentially improving image quality over a larger field of view. Prompted by advances in computer-controlled fabrication and testing, NASA engineers are now using freeform optics to explore cost-effective alternatives to more traditional space telescope missions… Read more

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Improved fabrication techniques are creating a new generation of gratings, lenses, and other elements that are physically thin and optically thick. Read more

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Selective laser melting (SLM) is an additive manufacturing technique that potentially enables new, complex-shaped geometries. It allows us to build prototypes of freeform reflectors from polymer-based materials with functional surfaces to which we can then apply a coating. Read more

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Laser diodes that are fabricated from the aluminum gallium indium nitride (AlGaInN) material system are emerging as a technology for defense and security applications. Conventional underwater communications, which are achieved acoustically, are often associated with very slow data rates and short reaches. They are also particularly susceptible to interception… Read more here

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Miniature solid tunable lens technology could enable a compact optical zoom endoscope with focusing capability that could conveniently switch from a wide field-of-view to a clear high-resolution close-up view without moving the endoscope probe. Colonoscopies may now become less uncomfortable for patients. Read more here

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The freeform revolution continues to redefine mainstream optics fields. Specific applications of freeform optics are currently prevented, however, because there is a lack of accurate metrology methods to guide efficient fabrication. The wide and flexible design space of freeform optics allows the design of new cutting-edge optical system concepts and form factors. Read more here [..]

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