Newsletter | October 29, 2019

10.29.19 -- The View From 2,000 km: How Optical Filters Improve Earth Observation

 
Messages From Above — Optical Satcom Lights The Way
 

We live in the “Communications Age,” but there is still further evolution to come that will necessitate extending the communications reach even further.  While we have laid down a large physical infrastructure of wireline fiber-optic networks and wireless cellular base stations, the next advances in communications, 5G and machine-to-machine communications, will require “help from above” to blanket literally every corner of our planet with high speed, ultra-low-latency, secure networks – telecom meet satcom. 

The Eyes Of The Instruments: Using Optical Filters To Observe And Measure Earth From A Different Perspective
 

An improved ability to manage or understand the natural or influenced phenomena is critical to ensuring that we maintain a healthy planet capable of sustaining humanity as part of its diverse biomass. But understanding these phenomena and how they are changing over time requires measurement.

Large-Format, Narrow Band Pass Filters (NBPF) – A Uniformity Challenge
 

Within so many diverse optical filtering applications, large-format (>100 mm diameter), narrow bandpass filters (NBPF) are required to be used alongside large collection optics in order to facilitate specific and selective analysis of a phenomena or the substance of interest.

The Challenges Of Using And Manufacturing Optical Filters In Earth-Observation
 

Optical filters play a key part in providing wavelength selections in earth-observation systems, but they provide a unique challenge in space-based applications. Jason Palidwar with Iridian Spectral talked to Photonics Online about some of those challenges, and how his organization has addressed them.

Solution
Space And Specialty Optical Filters For Earth Observation
 

In astronomical observations, optical filters are able to provide the wavelength selectivity needed to enable telescopes to discriminate signal from background information. These filters often require larger sizes, higher uniformity, and excellent surface quality and surface figure.