SPIE currently has this article n the James Webb Space Telescope set to open access.  The JWST is an amazing work of engineering and optomechanical design.  This telescope has not yet launched into space, but when it does it will provide unparalleled infrared images.




“James Webb Space Telescope: large deployable cryogenic telescope in space”

Opt. Eng. 51(1), 011003 (Feb 03, 2012). doi:10.1117/1.OE.51.1.011003
History: Received June 30, 2011; Revised September 17, 2011; Accepted September 26,2011
The article goes into great detail behind the optomechanics of the telescope, and the image shown here is an amazing example of the kinematic design that goes into makiing an ultrastable lightweight mirror assembly.

Quantum Information Processing

Quantum Information Processing takes a step closer to being an applied technology:


Posted by Gail Overton
Senior Editor

Quantum Switch, From Laser Focus World

Quantum Switch, From Laser Focus World

Additive manufacturing of smart metallic structures | SPIE Newsroom: SPIE

Ultrasonic welding process that joins dissimilar metals.  Article from SPIE.org


The massive natural optomechanical device, the Icecube Neutrino Observatory

With all of the incredible telescopes that have been put into orbit over the past few decades it hard to imagine and earth based telescope that can inspire as much amazement and wonder from the outside observer or stimulate the interest of the public on the same level.  However, in 2010, the development of the “IceCube Neutrino Observatory” was completed after almost  two decades of conceptual design and planning.  This is the ultimate optomechanical device. Most of the optomechanics were performed by mother nature – an enormous section of ice.  The civil engineering and electronics was then the key engineering aspect that had to be conceptualized, planned and executed to create this amazing piece of technology.
  This device is a gigantic slice out of the Antarctic ice shelf, that has been fitted with arrays of sensors going very deep into the depths of ice in order to setup an array of detectors that can sense the very faint, and very fast “weak interactions” that take place when neutrino particles strike another particle of matter.
The probability of a particle interaction taking place as a neutrino passes through the Earth, is relatively low, therefore, the larger the sensor used to detect particle collisions, the higher the probability that these interactions can be observed.  This is why the massive scale of this project is so important.  The section of ice used for this Antarctic observatory is a 1 cubic kilometer of ice, buried deep at the south pole to reduce background noise and signals that can interfere with detections.
A neutrino is a particle that was first conceptualized by Wolfgang Pauli in the early 1930’s as an explanation for the energy that appeared to be “missing” or was unaccounted for in the slow nuclear decay.  Another source of neutrinos comes from fusion reactions such as those that occur at the center of stars.  The IceCube can then be used to detect not only the neutrinos that might happen to come from our own sun, but can be used to detect neutrinos from other far off stellar objects.
This project is an amazing example of how people and organizations from an array of countries, disciplines and interests can come together to make something great.  The list consists of over 40 instittuions hailing from 12 countries.   
For more information follow some of our References and Links of Interest:
Aartsen, M.,  Abbasi, R.,  Abdou, Y.,  Ackermann, M.,  Adams, J.,  Aguilar, J., Ahlers, M,  “Evidence for high-energy extraterrestrial neutrinos at the IceCube detector”, Science 342, 2013.  doi:10.1126/science.1242856
Official Website at University of Wisconsin –  Madison:
Tech Stuff podcast from HowStuffworks.com:
What is the IceCube Neutrino Detector? Jonathan and Lauren take a look at a telescope that’s one mile under the ice at the South Pole.
More on other amazing optomechanical devices and telescopes:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/wise/  “NASA invites the public to help find young planetary systems in data from the agency’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission.”
Work in Progress:
James Webb Space Telescope, expected launch in 2018