In This Issue
Kepler Space Telescope
In Search of Earth Analogues
NASA's Kepler mission successfully launched into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II at 10:49 p.m. EST, Friday, March 6, 2009. Engineers acquired a signal from Kepler the next day, after it separated from its spent third-stage rocket and entered its final sun-centered orbit, trailing 950 miles behind Earth. The spacecraft is generating its own power from its solar panels.
Kepler has the largest camera ever launched into space, a 95-megapixel array of charge-coupled devices (CCDs). The mirror blank was made by Corning Glass works out of ULE, ultra-low expansion glass. The optical polishing of the mirror was performed by Brashear LP, NASA and Ball Aerospace.
We haven't been able to ascertain whether Brashear used QED's MRF two-meter capable Q22-2000F machine to polish this optic, but if you look at session 9 in the advance program for Optifab 2009, you will see this line-up:
Precision figure correction of two-meter optics with magnetorheological finishing, François Piché, Andrew R. Clarkson, L-3 Brashear (United States);
Should be some interesting images on display during that session at Optifab. Draw your own conculsions about how the optic got polished.
A bigger image of the primary mirror is here.
Moondog Optics, Inc. is a privately held company founded in 2007. Moondog offers optical design and engineering services with particular expertise in plastic and glass molded aspheres. Their extensive product development experience comes from organizations such as Kodak, Corning, and Jenoptik. The approach is highly collaborative and the primary goal is to help customers create unique, manufacturable designs that can be produced at commodity prices.
Contact Scott Cahall
Precision Laser Technology (PLT) is a small business offering precision laser engraving & marking services to industrial markets. PTI works closely with many of the Optics OEM's and contract manufacturers in Rochester, but also with out-of-state companies, providing permanent markings on lenses, lens barrels and rings. Recently, the company relocated to Lexington Avenue in the City of Rochester in order to expand capacity and services. Click PLT's logo to find out more.
Spectrum Thin Films Awarded Contract
Spectrum Thin Films of Hauppauge, NY announced that it was awarded a significant contract with Lockheed Martin to produce a range of optical components for its Space Systems Group.
Spectrum’s Founder and President Anthony Pirera said, “Spectrum’s ability to deliver turnkey optics and optical assemblies leverages its core competency as a world leading optical thin film deposition house. Our successes with the Mars Phoenix Lander and our current work to help support the James Webb Space Telescope further solidify our position as a leading supplier of mission-critical optical components.”
Spectrum purchased and took residence in its current Hauppauge location in 2008. The move doubled Spectrum’s footprint and allowed for better organized separation of clean room areas and management functions. For more information please contact Phil Barrows, Sales Manager, 631-901-1009.
CLEO/IQEC & PhotonXpo: A Preview
SPIE Defense & Security
Training Discount For Cluster Members Only
To help stimulate interest and help us provide value for Cluster members, SPIE has agreed to provide three training courses for the price of two at the Defense, Security and Sensing meeting next week in Orlando. The special deal is simple: two people sign up and pay for a course (or one signs up for two courses) and the next person gets a free course of equal or lesser value. Buy two, get one free. (The attached PDF form must be used for this program.) The course listing is here.
You may also see John McCain at the the Course Materials at Defense & Security to take advantage of the offer while you are at the conference.
Attend the most important optical fabrication event in North America - SPIE Optifab, and you'll see the newest technologies and big machines in optics.
ANS OP1.110 Draft Specifications
by Dave Aikens
The first two parts of the new American National Standard for optics drawings, OP1.110, are already in final draft form, and will be voted on at the standards meetings at OptiFab. This new standard is practically identical to the existing international drawing standard, ISO 10110.
Corning VP Touts Workforce Skills Training
America must reform its workforce training systems or the nation’s ability to compete in a global economy will be at grave risk.
That was the warning sounded by Corning’s Don McCabe, senior vice president, manufacturing and Performance Excellence, at a recent National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) event that proposed a new approach to manufacturing skills training to help today’s workers prepare for jobs requiring more education and a higher level of technical proficiency.
McCabe was one of the featured speakers at a media event sponsored by NAM and held at Washington’s National Press Club. He was joined by former Michigan Governor John Engler, now President and CEO of NAM, as well as representatives from ACT, Inc. the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, The National Institute for Metalworking Skills, the American Welding Society and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
“Even in this economic downturn, the skills of our workforce remain a top strategic priority and the most important driver of business success,” Don remarked. “Today’s workforce requires more education and higher level skills due to the growing technical demands of the modern manufacturing workplace. I believe our nation’s community colleges have an important role to play in addressing these challenges. Deploying the NAM-endorsed skills certification program will be critical to their success.”
McCabe plans to coordinate with several community colleges in U.S. locations where Corning has manufacturing facilities to discuss implementing elements of the NAM curriculum.
The NAM Manufacturing Skills Certification System focuses on the core, basic skills required for entry-level workers in all sectors of manufacturing. The core skills include personal effectiveness competencies such as willingness to learn and dependability; academic competencies such as applied sciences and presentation skills; workplace competencies such as teamwork and applied technology; and industry-wide technical competencies such as supply chain logistics and heath & safet.
“As a nation, we will rebound from this difficult economic time and, to be prosperous, we must have a workforce that can compete on the global stage,” Don commented. “This skills certification system promises to be an important tool to expedite and strengthen the training of skilled technical workers.
“This is the first - but a very important - step. We have a large challenge in reforming America’s workforce training system, but industry-based skills certifications are the best approach for bringing education and employment together on behalf of workers and our companies’ futures,” he concluded.
MCC Optics Program
Moving The Precision Optician Technician Standards Forward: With A New Laboratory
MCC Interim President, Dr. Larry Tyree took time during the past two months to learn about the importance of the optics and photonics industryin the Rochester region. On Friday, February 6, Tyree met with representatives of the RRPC for a dialogue about the Optics, Photonics and Imaging industry and the Optics program at MCC. On March 18th, Tyree toured the Laboratory for Laser Energetics and met with Robert McCrory, Director of the LLE. On March 30th, he toured Sydor Optics and Sydor Instruments.
It was no accident then, when Tyree invited Emmett Ientilucci PhD, a graduate of MCC's optical fabrication training program, an Associate Professor in the College of Imaging Sciences at RIT, and an adjunct instructor / consultant in MCC's Optics Program to speak during his outgoing"thank-you" dinner for members of the Rochester community at MCC on March 31st.
Following their endorsement of Op-Tec's Precision Optics Technician Skill Standards in October, 2008, which RRPC members helped draft, RRPC optical fabricators have been working on specifications for a new optics laboratory at MCC.
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New York Photonics and The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC) are not-for-profit organizations founded to promote and enhance the New York State photonics, optics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.