Imaging Polarimetry 2013 Study

Imaging polarimetry is defined as the measurement and polarization of transverse waves, the biggest of all being electromagnetic waves such as radio or light. This is commonly achieved on electromagnetic waves reflected, refracted, or diffracted by material to characterize the object being used. However, the key question behind the 2013 study being conducted was how can light polarization be measured without moving the particles that make up the light itself? Remote sensors ended up being the hopeful answer to this question by putting them into an imaging polarimeter system. The new system proposed would use a prism.

Specially-fitted optical slits from Lenox Laser were used on the Pantera 6M8 camera onboard a triple-Wollaston imaging-polarimeter. It would be able to help measure the intensity of each polarization projection. The slits also help maintain spatial coherence along the x-axis of an object. This device would also help measure out certain materials and elements in finite detail previously unattainable before. The system also contains a 2-D telescope with a scanning optical relay system designed to study the many wavelengths of light.

With the device’s compact design, it had to be reliable and withstand many different environmental situations and still perform calculations as accurately as possible. The design also had to be practical to be loaded onto space shuttle missions and the like. 

Lenox Laser was very proud to be a part of this massive study. We are very grateful for this opportunity. To learn more about the optical slits that we offer, please click here, and if you would like to read more about the study, click here.

New Wearable Sensor for Saliva and Tear Production

In the medical industry today, many wearable health devices can help people track things like heart health, diabetes, exercise, blood pressure, and so much more. Heart monitors, fitness trackers, Smartwatches, eyewear, and even clothing are just some things that can allow consumers to track their health and well-being. Another handy device could be on the way, thanks to scientists at Penn State University. The device will monitor your health and administer needed medication to assist a patient’s saliva and natural tears. Most importantly, if approved, it would have to be a low-cost option for patients that want to use it. The device would also help manage and possibly detect certain diseases such as oral cancer and infections, oral ulcers, and many types of eye infections. The device functions by using a microneedle to effortlessly and safely deliver the correct dosage of any prescribed medication that the patient may need through the skin, eye, or tongue. This is achieved by micro to nano steel ports on the structure to deliver the medication even as deep as the patient’s individual cells in their body.

As far as Penn State’s involvement in this process, Professor Huanyu Chang in the Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics hopes to not only expand this potential miracle technology to other medical uses and applications, but he also hopes that it will be a beacon of hope for people in desperate need of relief from painful ailments. The data of different bodily readings could be readily displayed on a patient’s computer, tablet, or smartphone. Not only that, but the patient would have rapid, accurate results in the shortest amount of time possible.

While this exciting new technology is a long way from being perfected, it is hoped that it can be applied to many applications and devices, big or small, when it is it. The ability to quickly see test results and reading will allow doctors to diagnose and treat their patients much sooner than traditional methods.

If you would like to read more about the subject, please click here.

Update on The NASA Messenger

Courtesy of NASA

The NASA Messenger satellite was the seventh discovery mission ever launched by the company and the first-ever fly past Mercury. Its intended purpose was to study the geological environment of the planet as well as its surface. Several days ago, the systems on board the Messenger recorded a meteoroid striking Mercury’s surface. It’s estimated that it measured three feet in length. The Messenger expedition lasted from 2011 to 2015. The Messengers Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer helped capture the possible evidence readings and amounts of sodium and silicon ions within planets solar winds. The meteoroid would come from an asteroid belt some 200 million miles away from Mercury using the information from those particles.

Scientists could do a reverse time-lapse using the particles found in the solar winds and determined that the particles found were younger than initially thought. On the sun side of the planet, it was discovered that the particles were traveling in an extremely tight beam of light like a wave, all at the exact same time and speed. This allowed them to track the sun particles back to their source and found that a cluster of particles erupted on Mercury and scattered nearly 300 miles into the vastness of space. Powerfully charged gases also disperse from rays of light from the solar winds. Hypothetically maybe two or three impacts happened per year during Messenger’s mission lifespan. Unfortunately, none of those were captured in any of the images from the mission.

Messengers’ origins date back all the way from July 1999, when it was first selected as the seventh discovery satellite, to July 2001, when final construction began. August 2004 is when the mission launched. It completed flybys of Earth, Venus, and Mercury starting in August 2005 and ending with the Mercury flyby in September 2009. The satellite completed its mission in 2015. 

Space is a vastly endless sandbox of discovery for modern science. To all those working to discover greatness in space and beyond, Lenox Laser gives our thanks. To see a detailed timeline of the Messenger mission, please click here.

Innovations in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

              With the vaccine for Covid-19 arriving late last year, people are now starting to see a glimmer of hope for the future. The challenge now is keeping up with demand in several markets because there are currently shortages. According to a report recently released by the Washington Post, as of the time writing this, approximately 20.3 million people have received doses of the vaccine. However, all over the world, vaccine distribution is moving at a desperately slow pace. This is what started the idea of using multi-product facilities to speed up the production and distribution of the vaccine as quickly and safely as possible. The first step to this needing to be conquered is updating outdated facilities and equipment. Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing (GRAM), a contract-based manufacturer of sterile injectable drugs based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is stepping up to aid in this goal.

              One of the significant parts of this initiative is to create massive facilities that are top-of-the-line with the most advanced equipment possible, bringing these facilities into a new era of prosperity. When the virus started, it has been a massive time crunch ever since to get to where we are today. Billions of dollars have been spent on creating and distributing this vaccine. Having updated facilities and converting as many areas as possible to allow it, GRAM believes, could reduce costs and spare precious time. The company is investing in other businesses to bring this innovation to them.

              GRAM will invest in equipment to prevent cross-contamination and improve safety and health protocols and flexibility for all parties involved. As the world’s current state has been in, it is a true marvel to see just how far the medical community has come with innovations, technology, and sustainability. We at Lenox Laser give our heartfelt thanks to all medical workers on the front lines.

If you would like to read more about the future of the pharmaceutical industry, please click here.

SpaceX Launch Updates – January 2021

All eyes were on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida this past Sunday for the second US East Coast launch of the Falcon 9 rocket this year for SpaceX. The mission, known as Transporter-1, was the debut for Space Flight Incorporated’s Sherpa-FX, a new transport vehicle. All the satellites launched so far will be used to create a massive network of internet connectivity for areas around the globe that don’t have local access to high-speed broadband. This will apply to both residential and business use, as well as a potential military application. The launch also gives SpaceX a world record for the most satellites ever launched at once, a total of 143. The network is being created aims to be one-of-a-kind. The launch also allowed the Starlink program to add an additional 10 satellites to its own growing network. On top of SpaceX’s launch of their own satellites, the company also has its Rideshare program. 

The SpaceX Rideshare program’s primary purpose is to get smaller satellite companies and developers a chance to get their product up into orbit and come one step closer to achieving their own vision. The range of companies covered with this program is already vast. Still, it could become more extensive as time goes on with military use, satellite radio, Internet, and TV. The growing number of successes that SpaceX has had over the last few months to last year does not stop here.  

It successfully launched its Dragon Crew mission on May 30 of 2020, which carried astronauts to meet up with the International Space Station for ongoing scientific research. On January 18, 2021, the Starlink program officially had its first batch of satellites launched into orbit, beginning to weave its ever-growing network of connectivity. Since June 2010, SpaceX has had 107 successful launches. 

From the SpaceX Dragon Crew mission to Starlink and Falcon 9, there seem to be no signs of slowing down for the company. With a massive 26 launches left to go in 2021, it is exciting to see the great potential on display. Space is an ever-evolving presence, and SpaceX continues to evolve along with it. The next launch is currently set for January 29 this year.  

If you would like to read more, click here for an article from Yahoo.com and here for another article  from Teslarati. 

Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution Update

Despite a recent vaccine breakthrough for Covid-19, new strains of the virus have been identified worldwide. News of the new mutations has heightened concern for healthcare workers worldwide. Still, they remain vigilant and confident that the current vaccine can battle the strain without issue. The Pfizer vaccine is in use in the UK, Europe, and the United States, with production expected to ramp up in massive quantities this year. Approximately 2 billion doses are expected to be available by the end of 2021. Pfizer has helped open six manufacturing sites to help meet demand. One area in Germany is expected to open in early February of this year. Other than the Pfizer vaccine, there is also the Moderna variation of the shot. Both versions of the vaccine needing two doses given 21 days apart to be fully effective against Covid-19.  

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, herd immunity with Covid is undoubtedly possible. Still, it would require as many people as possible that can get the vaccine do indeed get it. For many states now, vaccine rollout will be in three phases. Phase I will be essential workers, first responders, and people over 65; the second phase is a high-risk population. The final step would be the entire remaining population of an area. Even though this rollout is slow to begin, any positive progress is good, and Lenox Laser is proud of the ongoing effort. 

If you would like to read more, click here

SpaceX Early 2021 Launch Highlights

               2020 was a great year of success for Elon Musk’s SpaceX program. For example, some of the things his company has launched in the past have been Dragon and XirusXM satellites. The new year of 2021 is expected to be of no difference in the measure of success. The first launch of a Turkish satellite intended to expand television services throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa was a magnificent success. It took place on Thursday, January 7. One of the company’s next missions is called Transporter 1, which will carry dozens of smaller satellites into orbit as soon as the week of January 11.

               Even this year, SpaceX has plans to launch even more. In the spring of this year, a four-man crew mission called Crew 2 will be launching to meet with the International Space Station, increasing the staff to seven. Two Russian cosmonauts and three American astronauts are already aboard the station. These accomplishments have been a dream for years for the US NASA space program. Another launching of a multitude of Falcon rockets is a plan for this year to expand an ever-growing satellite network to bring information to the masses. With the launch of more satellites planned and building more ground stations, the Starlink program plans to expand its reach even further. One of its big goals is to improve its network latency by 16 to 19 ms within 2021.

               2021 looks to be a big year yet again for SpaceX, with up to three crewed space missions planned. At Lenox Laser, we are just as excited about the wonderful potential impact that all this innovation on their part could have. We wish them the most tremendous success.

                If you would like to read more, please click here.

Stellar Flares and Life Beyond Earth

When we think of space, it may be questioned if there is life beyond our world and how life can be sustained or even exist? With the help of stellar flares, that is a question that a new study conducted at the University of Colorado is trying to answer. A stellar flare is a sudden interruption of magnetic energy on or near the sun’s surface, sometimes associated with sunspot and electromagnetic radiation bursts. The idea of using flares to take life is because scientists believe that flares can increase the life-sustaining gases such as nitrogen oxide, nitric acid, and nitrogen dioxide to readable levels when they were previously non-detectable. The flares matter because they can take several hours or several days to form. This gives scientists an idea of the range of their effects on the exoplanet’s environment. The impressive study will explore the planet with inhabitable loans of M class and K class stars. An M class star is a spectral class having stars with weak hydrogen absorption and red color. A K class star is a main-sequence hydrogen-burning star that lived for between 17 to 70 billion years.

Study findings asserted that both the weather in space itself and these exoplanets may help or hinder the chances of harbor life. The distance between the planet and the stars also affects the planet’s ability to sustain life. However, in some cases, on other planets, solar flares can diminish any chance of life by destroying the planet’s ozone layer, wiping out life-sustaining gases. 

Using 3-D models and data from 2018 by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey, the team determined atmosphere properties such as gases, water vapor, oxygen levels, and more. Our planet Earth has a strong magnetic field that prevents dangerous solar winds and other hazards from entering our atmosphere and ultimately breaking down I ozone layer. For exoplanets farther away from stars, this is not the case, as there is no protective magnetic barrier to stop anything harmful from coming into the atmosphere and wiping out chances of life.

Lenox Laser gives our best to all involved in the study. If you would like to read more, click here for an article from ScienceDaily or here for a report from Phys.org

James Webb Sunshield Passes Final Tests

               When completed, the famous James Webb telescope will be the world’s premier observatory for exploring galaxies. Webb will explore our galaxy’s makeup and beyond, studying inside stars and help map and explore undiscovered, uncharted areas of our solar system and universe.

However, the telescope’s most recent achievement is the final deployment test of its massive football-field-sized sunshield. It is designed to handle the harshest temperatures in space, enduring temperatures of -380°F to 85°F. The sunshield is intended to protect the telescope optics and internal mechanisms while keeping them cold while exploring galaxy and star readings properly.

Courtesy of NASA/Chris Gunn

               The sunshield’s successful unfolding completes Webb’s final tremendous milestone before the expected October 2021 launch. Altogether the telescope is costing NASA an estimated $10 billion, with potentially higher costs coming if any further delays happen. Not only will the sunshield protect Webb’s many internal optics from the sun’s heat, but it will also protect them from the light, which could help avoid potentially false readings upon exploration. Past tests included folding and unfolding the telescope’s many massively sized mirrors, tests of its optics, the sunshield tests, and interior and exterior components.

               The teams involved in creating James Webb were scientists from NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency. Partnerships were also formed with Northrop Grumman, who helped design some onboard computers and the telescope. Thus far, everyone is extremely pleased with the progress made, and they cannot wait to see the outcome of all the hard work done for the project. However, the James Webb project has faced many hurdles and delays in its continuous journey towards a successful launch. Some of those delays include government funding, the most recent Covid-19 pandemic, equipment malfunction, and multiple ongoing tests that were postponed. Barring any other unforeseen circumstances or uncertainties, the James Webb telescope mission is expected to launch Halloween 2021. 

Lenox Laser is proud of everyone involved in this undertaking. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for the project. If you would like to read more about this development with James Webb, please click here.

SIMPLEx Mission to the Moon

The Moon has been vastly explored by mankind for several decades. Despite the progress, it is believed that its geography has not fully mapped. That is the potential goal of the new Lunar Trailblazer built by NASA. One of its primary functions will be to determine the amount of water on the Moon that could be hidden inside football-sized craters on the surface. This massive venture was an idea in partnership with NASA and Caltech University; its construction began in early 2019. The images that are taken will be the highest resolution possible. Now in the approval process, Trailblazers flight systems are expected to be delivered in October 2022. Altogether the satellite will measure 3.5 m in length upon full deployment of its onboard solar panels.

The most significant part of this endeavor is to find out if there is water on the Moon and why. Temperatures on the Moon can be up to 260°F in sunlight and can drop to -280°F; this could lead to ice pockets and formations around the Moon’s surface. Trailblazer’s design team includes some brilliant scientists from Lockheed Martin that will test the satellite’s design and instrument functionality. They are also joined by scientists at Oxford University who will be designing the instruments which enable Trailblazer to do the necessary water studies on the Moon. Some of the questions about the study needing to be answered are the following: Is there water found in rock? Does the temperature change of water happen during the day-night cycle? Most importantly, does water exist in the shadow covered areas of the Moon? If all goes well, the mission is planned to launch in 2025.

Full mapping of the Moon would allow scientists to understand its geological makeup, surface area, water, and rock formations. Some of the events in the timetable of the lunar Trailblazer started in 2018 when it was announced as a candidate for NASA’s Planetary Small Satellites program. Last year Trailblazer was selected for the upcoming mission; beyond this, no further information is available at this time. The previously mentioned high-resolution images taken by the satellite will give scientists a more real-time feel of what is being dealt with on the Moon surface. Lenox Laser wishes all the teams involved the very best of luck and cannot wait to see the study results. If you would like to read more, click here.

We here at Lenox Laser also wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

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