Within the last two months, several remote sensing technologies have been demonstrated that may help in the struggle to reduce atmospheric pollution. In June the UK’s National Physical Laboratory launched an upgrade of its mobile lab, which uses differential absorption lidar (DIAL) to measure gas emissions from power plants and search for leaks at industrial landfills.
A medical tool based on night vision technology could help clinicians diagnose lymphatic disorders earlier, leading to better treatment options. The technique, called near-infrared fluorescence lymphatic imaging (NIRFLI), has been developed at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) at Houston Medical School in the US and was presented in a talk at the CLEO conference in San Jose at the beginning of June.
The use of freeform and aspheric lenses are becoming more popular – examples include reflector designs for car headlights, heads up displays (HUD) and optics for consumer electronics such as Google Glass. Advances in the software and machining tools mean more extreme freeform designs are being produced, but the metrology equipment needed to inspect these complex optics is struggling to keep pace.
At Optatec in Frankfurt in May, Dutch firm Luxexcel was showing samples of its plastic optics. This might not seem that unusual at an optics fair, but these lenses were remarkable in that they were made with 3D printing.