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Philip Zeng

Recent Posts

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.

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!