New Study about The Darkness of Space

Darkness is defined as the partial or total absence of light; however, new studies are potentially showing that space may not be so dark after all. NASA’s New Horizons satellite was launched in 2006 with an initial purpose of exploring the dwarf planet of Pluto, but, in 2015, New Horizons entirely shot past the world in what was to be a six-month reconnaissance flyby along with exploring the Kuiper belt. Beyond the Milky Way galaxy, researchers have taken photos, extracted any light coming from random stars or from the Milky Way, and concluded that there is light beyond our own universe. With this finding, scientists began to ask where the light may be coming from.

Thanks to highly detailed images in the Hubble telescope’s many attempts, scientists may now have detailed pictures of light existing in the far corners of the universe. However, minuscule the light amount may be, scientists believe that even a small amount is a groundbreaking find. However, the discovery does come with some caveats. An example is that whatever light the observer may be looking at may affect the amount of dust in the space.

The Hubble Telescope has contributed more to the question of light outside of the Milky Way. So far, according to this study, the Hubble Telescope has helped in finding some of the farthest and dimmest galaxies known to man to this day. However, despite finding so much, Hubble’s capabilities are limited because there could exist light sources that cannot be seen. Given that light is infinite and can go in any number of directions, a piece of dust in space can project a considerable amount of light and, therefore, mess up findings. While scientists still have a long way to go as to what they may or may not discover with this new study, they are astounded continuously so far as to what they found. This is a real example of just how far technology has come to give humankind such an in-depth look at the mystery with such potential.

If you would like to read more about this study, click here for an NPR article or here for a Forbes article on the study.

Current News in the Pharmaceutical Packaging Industry

The unprecedented times that the world is facing with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic makes the effectiveness of safe and reliable medical packaging more critical than ever.

The pharmaceutical industry uses many methods to ensure its products’ safety. One of the main processes is called container Closure Integrity Testing, or CCIT. CCIT tests every aspect of the durability of pill bottles, glass vials, storage plastics, etc. It also ensures that there is no possible way that the product being stored could leak out and contaminate. Lenox Laser is proud to offer this service, and we take great pride in our quality assurance. We can proudly provide our laser drilling services for CCIT laser drilling into many different materials such as glass, nickel, heavy-duty plastics, and stainless steel. We have even assisted the Parental Drug Association in a CCIT vacuum leak decay study. More info about the study that we participated in can be found here. Even today, there continues to be development in the field of critical packaging.

According to The Packaging Digest, The FDA recently gave approval to a new packaging method that uses water vapor that helps with relative humidity inside storage. This method can drastically change the weight of the package due to an even layer vapor across the film of the container. This is first tested by filling the cavities of blister packs with water to simulate storage weight. The idea behind this is to maintain a constant and stable pressure difference. In the end, the study found that the containers that use the water vapor method maintained a 75% vapor pressure difference from stored at 40°C. The great advantage of this method is the water vapor usage does not change the internal relative humidity on the package and or contents, and they remain stable. Is not yet known when this new packaging method will be on the market, however the results seem promising.

From shipping and tracking purposes to safe and robust storage, all of this must be done with the utmost care and highest safety standards possible. Flexible packaging allows practical delivery to hospitals or medical facilities and ease-of-use for medical staff. In the last few weeks, the world was given ecstatic hope as the vaccine being developed by Pfizer was announced to be 95% effective against Covid-19. Both Pfizer and Moderna hope to have emergency use authorization as of now. Several meetings with the FDA are also planned to discuss vaccination rollout. Several multibillion-dollar deals have been made in America and Europe to supply millions of doses to the public once a vaccine is officially approved. Lenox Laser gives our best regards in all these tremendous efforts to end this global pandemic.

SpaceX GPS3 and Starlink Satellite Launchings

               Elon Musk and his SpaceX Corporation have once again continued to make great strides in their own personal efforts to advance technology and space travel. Just recently, on November 5, SpaceX successfully launched a highly advanced global positioning satellite system for the US military’s Space Force. Codenamed the GPS 3 SV04, it was initially expected to launch on November 3 but was delayed due to technical difficulties with ground equipment two times. The previous two attempts were in August 2019 and June 2020. This mission would mark almost 100 launches for the Falcon 9 rocket. The GPS 3 was designed in partnership with Lockheed Martin. It was designed to give the US military better jamming technology to stop interference from many different sources such as radio frequencies and improve navigational capabilities.

               The US military could not be more thrilled by this prospect of such technological advancements in the fight to keep America and the world safe. In October of this year, the Pentagon granted Elon Musk a staggering $149 million contract to make four missile-tracking satellites for the Department of Defense. SpaceX will build four satellites under the deal with the Space Development Agency. Each of the four satellites will be equipped with advanced infrared technology for tracking missiles, specifically intercontinental ballistic missiles or ICBMs. If successful, the project is expected to launch sometime in 2022. This will be the second Pentagon contract that SpaceX has won.

               As mentioned previously, the Starlink program aims to give people affordable Internet who may not have access to the Internet or inexpensive Internet available to them. In the past few weeks, they have just been granted approval to use their satellite Internet in Canada, and the final steps are now being ironed out. Speed tests are being done in beta currently. People who wish to sign up for the SpaceX Starlink Internet can check availability on their website. Monthly pricing is said to be $100 per month, and the expected speeds can be anywhere from 50 to 150 MB per second with higher rates planned if this venture proves successful.

                Technologies continue to reach new heights, and SpaceX is tangible proof of that. If you would like to read more about the launchings, you can read more about the GPS launchings here and the launching of the Starlink satellites here.

Our Partnership with Optikos

The Optikos Corporation had its humble beginnings in 1982, opening in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As of 2007, they are in Wakefield, Massachusetts, employing about 70 people with reach in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Since that time, their clients have included 3M Corporation, IBM and Intel, Hasbro toys, Honeywell, Google, and Microsoft Corporation, just to name a few. The talent that makes this all possible is an excellent team of technicians and electrical engineers that have an endless drive and dedication to be the best they can be. Some of the companies many products include surface measurement instruments, camera testing equipment that includes a test for short focal range small aperture cameras, and visual imaging displays using fiber optics. They also specialize in night vision systems, missile guidance systems for defense and thermographic systems, and meteorology equipment. The company’s divisions include design and manufacturing, optical testing and assembly, and equipment to measure surface topography for meteorology needs. Optikos offers a wide range of services, from camera lenses to optics, systems design, architecture, software, firmware experience, optical component development vendors, and fixturing.  

Stephen D. Fanton is the president and CEO of Optikos Corporation and the brilliant mind that founded the company. While studying at MIT in 1979, he received two bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and management. He also holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Optics and Rochester University. Stephen is one of the leading minds in optical engineering and product development. He has been a member of the optical society for more than 40 years. He was elected vice president of the optical society in 2018 and is served in many volunteer capacities there. He has served as president of the organization for 2020. He is also the recipient of the 2015 University of Rochester Distinguished Scholar Award. Dr. Fantone was recently interviewed for the October 2020 issue of Manufacturing Today, where he enthusiastically discussed his passion and vision for not only his company’s future but also giving his clientele the best top-tier work Optikos can provide. He also touched on wanting to expand the reach of optical technology in the unknown and undiscovered areas.  

Lenox Laser has been in partnership with Optikos for over 15 years now. We allow our customers to buy Optikos products from us as we are a proud supplier and will be honored to do so for many years to come. Lenox Laser itself has been in business since 1981 and has seen much success for over 35 years. Lenox Laser wishes Dr. Fanton all the success in the world and is continually grateful for the continued support Optikos gives us. 

A 60-Year Retrospective of the Laser – Part 2

Welcome to part two of Lenox Laser’s 60-year anniversary retrospective of the creation of the laser. If you missed part 1, that can be found right here.  

The great Greek mathematician Archimedes left behind three books or codex’s that we are aware of known as Codex A, B, and C. Codex C, initially finished in 1229, is known as the Archimedes Palimpsest because the book was taken apart. All the information was erased from the Archimedes Palimpsest. For years the book rotted away until William Noel at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, in January 1999 began the restoration process. Researchers asked Lenox Laser to restore this magnificent work while other researchers removed mold and things like discoloring and disintegration. Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) issued a request to produce microscopic laser-drilled holes in thin tungsten film when confronted with an engineering challenge involving their Synchrotron X-Ray source. These small apertures proved critical to the team’s success in uncovering the Palimpsest’s “hidden treasure” as they helped make previously unreadable sections of the document clear. Finding hidden pieces in the book took the research team around eight years to complete. The Archimedes Palimpsest is an example of lasers being used to preserve history as best we can today. 

With the laser, humanity has a powerful, multifaceted tool that can help shape the future. Here’s to hoping future generations unlock the laser’s potential like never imagined. It is such an honor for Lenox Laser to be a part of such a monumental achievement. To learn more about Lenox Laser, please visit Lenox Laser’s website.

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