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SPIE Professional January 2013

Optics R&D Highlights

The European Space Agency (ESA) is preparing for the Euclid space mission in 2020 to observe the dark energy and dark matter that make up most of the universe.

The spaceborne survey mission dedicated to investigating dark energy, dark matter, and gravity is the only mission dedicated to looking at the dark universe.

The spacecraft’s instruments will characterize the signatures of dark energy on the 3D distribution of cosmic structures and survey the sky at both visible and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths, making it a wide-field visible/NIR space mission.


An artist impression of the Euclid spacecraft.
Courtesy ESA/C. Carreau

The six-year mission will conduct a wide survey of one-third of the sky, and a deep survey will cover 1/1000 of the sky.

Yannick Mellier of Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris (France) and René Laureijs, Euclid project scientist at ESA (Netherlands), describe some of the planned instruments and design of the spacecraft in a recent SPIE Newsroom article.

Since the apparent shapes of galaxies are distorted by gravitational deflection of light because of dark-matter concentrations, Euclid will measure the shapes of 2 billion galaxies with a visual imager (VIS) filter, Mellier and Laureijis explain.

“Euclid will also measure galaxy clustering, which is the non-random distribution of galaxies in the universe that results from the force of gravity,” the article says. “Galaxy clustering is measured from the 3D position of galaxies using a spectroscopic survey of 50 million galaxies. The distances of galaxies will be derived by using flux ratios of each galaxy in the three Euclid NIR bands and will be complemented by ground-based visible photometry.”

To read more about the Euclid space mission in the SPIE Newsroom: spie.org/news-euclid.

Whispering Gallery Mode biosensor targets tiny particles

Researchers in New York have reported on a new biosensor that can detect the smallest known virus.

The micro-scale system was an idea conceived for telecommunications applications, according to Stephen Holler of Fordham University and Stephen Arnold of  the Microparticle Photophysics Laboratory at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

The whispering gallery mode (WGM) biosensor uses micro-optical structures, such as glass spheres, to confine light at specific frequencies. The light typically comes from a narrow-band tunable laser source operating in the near-IR spectral regime.

Since its demonstration, the WGM biosensor has evolved to allow detection of biological particles of ever-smaller sizes.

The article, "Single virus sensing strikes gold," was the most read article in the SPIE Newsroom in November.

New books on lens design and HDR imaging from SPIE Press
Journal of Photonics for Energy

SPIE Journal of Photonics for EnergyLess than two years after its launch, the SPIE Journal of Photonics for Energy (JPE) has been selected for inclusion in Web of Science and Scopus.

“Inclusion in Web of Science and Scopus will make it easy for scientists and engineers to search the literature in this exciting and important research area—combining photonics with renewable, sustainable energy,” says SPIE Fellow Zakya Kafafi, the journal’s editor-in-chief.

“This exposure will increase visibility for the journal and for its contributors,” she says.

The newest SPIE journal is published in the SPIE Digital Library along with six other SPIE journals that are already included in Web of Science and Scopus.

JPE covers fundamental and applied research areas focused on the applications of photonics for renewable energy harvesting, conversion, storage, distribution, monitoring, consumption, and efficient usage.

A special section on non-imaging optics to be published this spring will focus on thermodynamically efficient optical designs for solid-state lighting and solar energy conversion.

More information: spie.org/jpe

Have a question or comment about this article? Write to us at spieprofessional@spie.org.

To receive a print copy of SPIE Professional, the SPIE member magazine, become an SPIE member.


DOI: 10.1117/2.4201301.10

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January 2013

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