Slide 1 Slide 2 Slide 3 Slide 4 Slide 4 Slide 4 Slide 4

MiFoBio 2018: AO Microscopy in Action

Posted by Philip Zeng on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 @ 10:45 AM

Tags: microscopy, MiFoBio, SLM, biological imaging, imaging systems

Recently, Boston Micromachines sponsored MiFoBio (Functional Microscopy in Biology), an event that brought together the microscopy community, academics and professionals alike, to attend courses and workshops that explored the understanding and current trends of biological imaging. Held in Seignosse, France from Oct 5 to 12, 2018, a Boston Micromachines Kilo-S-SLM deformable mirror was utilized in a microscopy demonstration of imaging through scattering media shown to the participants at the workshops.

MiFoBio Demo Setup

MiFoBio Microscopy Demo with Kilo-S-SLM deformable mirrorImages courtesy of MiFoBio. 

Thanks to Sylvain Gigan, Baptiste Blochet, Sophie Brasselet and the team at Laboratoir Kastler Brossel for the invitation and continued support of our deformable mirror technology!

Successful 2K-DM Delivery to JPL and Continued WFIRST Development

Posted by Philip Zeng on Wed, Oct 10, 2018 @ 11:25 AM

Tags: exoplanet, NASA, deformable mirror, SBIR/STTR, astronomy, JPL, 2K-DM, WFIRST

Boston Micromachines successfully delivered the world’s first fully-functioning 2K-DM to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as part of NASA’s Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program! With 2040 actuators, this mirror will be a contributing element to the BMC’s goal of developing DM technology for next generation space-based telescopes for exoplanet imaging.

What is even more exciting is that the NASA SBIR program has decided to extend our contract into its Phase II-X program in which BMC will deliver additional deformable mirrors for evaluation and potential inclusion in the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) program. The WFIRST program is a NASA mission concept of a next-generation space telescope that will play a role in the next steps of exoplanet and dark energy research for astronomers and scientists. This is scheduled to launch in the mid-2020s. Check out more here.

wfirst_spaceArtist rendering of WFIRST telescope, planned for a mid-2020 launch. Courtesy of NASA.

 This project has provided BMC the experience and the opportunity to begin the first steps towards the production of even higher actuator count DMs, 8,000 actuators or more, for space-based and ground-based telescopes.

8K

Much credit goes to all involved on both the BMC and JPL teams for working together on future developments of mirror technology for future space missions and exoplanet searching. 

For the full press release, it can be found here: 

 

 

 

 

 

       8K-DM layout.

SPIE Astro 2018. Exoplanets galore

Posted by Michael Feinberg on Thu, Jun 28, 2018 @ 08:30 AM

Tags: exoplanet, Robo-AO, astronomy, NASA, telescopes, SPIE, adaptive optics, deformable mirror

I attended the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation event in Austin, Texas recently and while I enjoyed the music and incredible bar-b-que,  I thought it might be a good idea to summarize what I learned and the most interesting things mentioned about adaptive optics research.

Exoplanet research is alive and well

I am happy to say this.  We have been developing bigger and better mirrors for both ground-based and space-based telescopes here at BMC and they are targeted specifically for this use.

Here are the programs which I heard the most about last week:

MagAOX

Our 2K-DM will be shipping soon to the folks at the Magellan Telescope working on MagAOX, their planet-finding instrument. And, we have been discussing the design of gthe next generation instrument for the Giant Magellan Telescope, GMagAOX, which includes no less than seven 3K-DMs totaling over 21,000 actuators to be used for an order-of-magnitude higher level of control.  Logo Credit: Kyle Van Gorkom, University of Arizona

While I am sad to see the Gemini Planet Imager instrument mission end at the Gemini South Observatory (which includes our 4K-DM), I am excited for the next phase that is set to begin at Gemini North in Hawaii.  The location study is ongoing and will yield which components will get an upgrade.  While I am always excited about delivering a newer, better DM, I am proud of the performance of the 4K-DM and would be just as happy if that workhorse kept on running!

SCExAO just  keeps on going.  That is all.

SCExAO 2K DM

Seriously, though.  The expected science yield from this instrument is extremely exciting and I look forward to seeing more images in the near future!  Check out their site hereImage credit:  Olivier Guyon, University of Arizona

Finally, on the space-based front, Habex and LUVOIR designs are in motion and both are baselining BMC’s technology for the final design. Click the link here to see a recent article about AO and see a picture of the layout of our biggest mirror, the 8K-DM.  I have a quote 😊.

Don’t forget about all of the other science!

There is so much else going on and I couldn’t possibly list it all. Work at Lawrence Livermore National Labs is ongoing to develop an extremely low latency AO system called “LLAMAS.” Small(ish) telescopes are utilized as well to do some amazing data collection. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Robo-AO which is now in the process of moving from Kitt Peak to the UH88 telescope in Hawaii.  And, Robo-AO2, otherwise known and the Rapid Transit Surveyor, is in the midst of design and build and will be online soon.

Rapid Transit Surveyor

Rapid Transit Surveyor.  Image Credit:  Christoph Baranec

Final thoughts

The astronomical instrumentation field is alive and well and adaptive optics has become an integral part of almost all of the major installations in service, being built or being designed.  We are excited for the field and especially proud to be involved in the programs that required our high speed, high resolution devices to push science forward! 

Laser Focus at CLEO 2018

Posted by Philip Zeng on Fri, May 25, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

Tags: CLEO, "AOSDK", deformable mirror, BMC, Thorlabs, adaptive optics, free-space communication, modulating retroreflector, spatial light modulator, optical modulator, laser science

Last week, I attended the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) with my colleague and well-experienced technical salesperson, Michael Feinberg. Held in the San Jose Convention Center, Boston Micromachines was graciously hosted again by our strategic partner, Thorlabs – thanks (again) for the help and partnership!

As a growing marketing and sales engineer, I took in the chance to really explore and educate myself about the photonics and optics industry more as I did at my first tradeshow this past January, SPIE BiOS and Photonics West. Being hosted by Thorlabs provided me a chance to meet and interact with the Thorlabs crew and learn more about each of their specialized fields, from lenses to optomechanics, optical fibers to motion control sensors, and more.

A huge difference between the two shows is definitely the focus and size. After experiencing BiOS and Photonics West, CLEO was definitely much more on the smaller size and the venue seemed to have less and less visitors every following day. While less substantial in terms of number of visitors, there were a few good quality leads that  showed a large interest in our deformable mirror products for their lab and research. Most of it leaned towards laser applications as the name of the conference suggests, but there were some whose experience and research resided in microscopy as well. 

While there was not as much interest in it as I thought it would generate, we presented and demonstrated our new Adaptive Optics Software Development Kit, also known as the AOSDK (see last blog post, 7 Mar 2018). Our simple demo set-up consisted of our Multi-3.5 DM, a Thorlabs Shack-Hartmann Wavefront Sensor (WFS), a source laser, and a PC laptop as the control system. MATLAB software was used to run the AOSDK code and correct a sample trial lens with a cylindrical aberration.

I believe in due time as adaptive optics becomes more and more mainstream, the AOSDK will be seen as a time-efficient tool that will greatly enhance engineers’ and scientists’ methods through integration into their own AO system.

I also had a chance to attend a couple of technical talks on the last day of the conference, topics ranging from wide-field multi-photon imaging using compressive sensing to wavefront shaping with a Wigner-Smith [time delay] operator. Though not necessarily directly related to usage of deformable mirrors or adaptive optics, it was certainly interesting to listen to the research being done to further the study of how we can control and manipulate light across applications.

Overall, CLEO was a great experience and show and gave me an opportunity to stick my head more into the optics world. I look forward to attending again next year with a more experienced perspective and looking at all things lasers.

Introducing our new AOSDK for adaptive optics!

Posted by Philip Zeng on Wed, Mar 07, 2018 @ 04:15 PM

Tags: BMC, adaptive optics, software, "AOSDK"

Boston Micromachines is proud and excited to introduce its latest product software suite: The Adaptive Optics Software Development Kit, or AOSDK.

Figure 1. Simple breakdown of the AOSDK in an AO system.

As the science of adaptive optics (AO) continues to grow, so does the number of members in its community and beyond. Not everyone may be familiar with the application of adaptive optics as groups begin to code and program their AO system software. BMC’s AOSDK is a solution for saving time and effort in the development of low level software used to implement wavefront correction.

The AOSDK provides an application programming interface (API) with multiple software modules that will simplify and assist with AO development for your system. Features of the AOSDK include the following:

  • Calibration of the wavefront sensor (WFS)
  • Graphical rendering of WFS data
  • Reconstruction and correction of wavefront aberrations in real-time
  • Indirect wavefront control

Figure 2. Sample reconstructed wavefronts displayed via AOSDK.

BMC’s AOSDK is currently compatible with DMs provided by us, Thorlabs, and ALPAO. It is compatible with cameras provided by Thorlabs and Uniq. The AOSDK works in C++, MATLAB, and Python. Our long-term plan is to explore more hardware integration options and develop modules that customers will need. Contact us if you have a combination not listed on the site and we can develop a module that will work with your hardware.

The AOSDK will enable those both familiar and unfamiliar with AO software development to be able to program their AO system with ease. Contact BMC today for ordering and more information on the AOSDK!

Robo-AO: At Kitt Peak and Beyond

Posted by Paul Bierden on Mon, Oct 17, 2016 @ 03:25 PM

Tags: astronomy, deformable mirror, telescopes, Multi-DM, Robo-AO, Kitt Peak National Observatory

Multi-DM_Compact_Mount.pngI’d like to recognize the Robo-AO team at Mt. Kitt.  They have done a great job of transferring the instrument from Palomar and within a short time, got a season of imaging in, resulting in a number of papers and posters that were presented at  SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation. We’re really excited to hear that they are back up and observing after the monsoon season.  I’m sure we will be getting some more great results from the team.  For those who don’t know, Robo-AO is “the first autonomous laser adaptive optics system and science instrument operating on sky. The system robotically executes large scale surveys, monitors long-term astrophysical dynamics and characterizes newly discovered transients, all at the visible diffraction limit. The first of many envisioned systems has finished over 180 nights of science observing at the Palomar Observatory 60-inch telescope (with over 19,000 robotic observations executed)”. In 2015 it was moved from Palomar to Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona.   Boston Micromachines is proud to have worked with the Principal Investigator, Christoph Baranec, on a small part of this instrument, as the deformable mirror chosen for this back in 2009 was a BMC Multi-DM (pictured). 

The OPALS project at NASA's JPL aims to increase free space communication data rates with the ISS

Posted by Charles Conway on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 @ 03:00 PM

A Boston Micromachines Kilo-DM is being used in an adaptive optics system for the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) project (see figure below) to improve data transmission rates on board the ISS. As the amount of data gathered by instruments on board the station has increased over the years the ability to trasmit the data has not kept pace. Without advancement in free space communications technology some of the data gathered may have to be tossed out or stored for long periods of time before it can be analyzed.

OPALSpicforblog-1.jpg

Original figure from Nasa JPL website for OPALS. DM, magnification shapes, and supporting text added by Boston Micromachines.

Adaptive optics is a key part of these systems as without it, the turbulence in the atmosphere would lead to increased noise causing high numbers of bit errors drastically slowing down the data transfer rate. Boston Micromachines deformable mirrors are fast enough to correct for atmospheric aberrations that corrupt the laser beam on its way back to the surface. You can find out more about this space based optical communications technology on NASA JPL's web page for OPALS. Or get a more in depth description of the system by reading the OSA article on OPALS. Our deformable mirror is mentioned in section 3.2.

The project, as well as the Boston Micromachines Deformable Mirror being used, was mentioned recently in an article on the Sentinel Satellite, another space based instrument employing the use of optical data transmission technology. Missions like these show how practical the use of laser transmission systems is to drastically increase the bandwidth in communication channels sending information back to Earth. This technology is being considered for use on the ISS as well as deep space probes and Mars rovers.

The next generation 4Pi microscope is here.  And it has adaptive optics.

Posted by Michael Feinberg on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 @ 04:02 PM

Tags: microscopy, two photon, fluorescence, adaptive optics, biological imaging, deformable mirror

Recently, work has been going on at Yale W-4PiSMSN Whole Cell 4Pi single marker switching nanoscopy graphical abstractUniversity, the Gurdon Institute at Cambridge University and Purdue University with funding provided by the Wellcome Trust Research Programme to develop a high resolution widefield microscope capable of imaging entire cell structures at once. This group has published an article in the journal Cell which describes the W-4PiSMSN (Whole Cell - 4Pi single marker switching nanoscopy).  In this article they show the results of imaging the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), bacteriophages, mitochondria, nuclear pore complexes, primary cilia, Golgi-apparatus-associated COPI vesicles, and mouse spermatocyte synaptonemal complexes.  The instrument includes two Boston Micromachines Multi Deformable Mirrors which are used to optimize the optical wavefront due to aberrations in both the instrument and biological sample.  We're so excited about this incredible breakthrough and I am sure you will be too!!!!

The full article, images and videos can be found here:http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(16)30745-0

 

 

Welcome to Boston Micromachines' newly updated blog!

Posted by Jeff Kelley on Tue, Jul 05, 2016 @ 03:23 PM

Finding your way to the blog:

space-telescope-532989_1920.jpg

Thank you for visiting our blog, now available on our main website to make accessing our posts a breeze!  Be sure to stick around to stay up to date with all the latest news and developments in the world of Adaptive Optics.  As you may have noticed, this page is accessible via our blog link in the top right corner of our site.  This ensures that all visitors to our site will never be more than one click away from our latest exciting updates.

 

What You Missed this Month in the Adaptive Optics Industry

Posted by Angelica Perrone on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

Tags: deformable mirror, adaptive optics, astronomy, biological imaging, BMC, imaging systems, microscopy, two photon, Mirrors

If you've been hiding out in the lab, constantly checking your March Madness bracket, or escaping the cold to find any ounce of warmth (like me!), chances are you may have missed some exciting news. March turned out to be quite a busy month in the Adaptive Optics world, so here’s what you missed:

1. Exoplanet imaging in under a minute

At the recent AAAS 2015 annual meeting, Bruce Macintosh from Stanford University and Principal Investigator for the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), discussed that there are over 1,000 confirmed planets due to the help of Adaptive Optics. In order to start really understanding a planet and its characteristics, you need to look at the composition of its atmosphere. Astronomers have relied heavily on the adaptive optics technique, allowing for distortion correction of the atmosphere using a deformable mirror. This has had proven success in regards to GPI, which uses a BMC deformable mirror (4K-DM), as part of its adaptive optics system. It can image planets in about a minute, which used to take up to an hour! GPI recently imaged the HR8799 star system, with three orbiting planets. Since November 2013, GPI has imaged 600 stars and identified 50-60 new planets.

2. 2nd quadruple star system discovered 

More exciting news from the Astronomy world was the discovery of a massive planet with a quadruple star system only 125 light-years from Earth. Discovered by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, they were able to detect the fourth star after fitting the telescopes at the Palomar Observatory with a Robo-AO adaptive optics system. Utilizing the AO technique allowed astronomers to pick up on the faint star that couldn’t be seen before. Below is a diagram illustrating the discovered Ari 30 alongside its pair in a binary systems. Before this detection, only one other planet in a quadruple star system had been discovered before. More sightings are being predicted as exoplanets are found, with the help of Adaptive Optics systems of course!Ari 30 system resized 600

(Photo credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

3. The most valuable brains 

Congratulations to Scientists Winfried Denk, Arthur Konnerth, Karel Svoboda and David Tank for being awarded the world’s most valuable neuroscience prize, The Brain Prize, for the invention and development of two-photon microscopy! Two-photon microscopy is helping researchers to understand the human brain and how its networks process information, such as nerve cell communication. It has also enabled the study of nerve cells that control vision, hearing and movement. Recent work has been carried out to implement adaptive optics systems on two-photon microscope systems around the word, including locations such as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Institute Langevin at CNRS and Boston University. Standing on the shoulders of giants to improve imaging of the brain with AO!

Now that you are caught up with some of the biggest achievements using Adaptive Optics this past month, check out all of our deformable mirror products that are used in AO instruments like GPI on our website. Questions? Looking for a deformable mirror that will fit your needs? Contact BMC here

 

 

AO 101 Whitepaper

Looking to learn more about Adaptive Optics? Download our whitepaper to learn the fundamentals and how our customers are implemeting our DM's into their AO systems. 

 

Download 

 

 

Article links:

Telescope tech lets us Look directly at new worlds
Spotted: A planet 10 times the size of Jupiter with four suns
Two photon Microscopy inventors awarded the most valuable neuroscience prize