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Laser Focus at CLEO 2018

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

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.

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