Science Fair Competition of Maryland

Lenox Laser is a company that prides itself on a wealth of growing ideas and new exciting concepts. With this in mind, Lenox Laser began hosting the Science Fair Competition of Maryland. The fair allows children to spend the summer with Lenox Laser during a variety of different activities of great educational value. The idea of such events began as early as December 2001 at the Parkville High School robotics competition.

The very first Science Fair Competition of Maryland would be in March 2003. The fair was open to all children and teenagers with a certain scientific curiosity. Gilbert Smith of the NASA Goddard Space Center would provide the children in attendance that day with an educational presentation. The fair not only covers science, but things like mathematics, robotics, chemistry, photography, optics and astronomy and of course, lasers.

The 2016 science fair had kids ages 11 to 16 group studying innovation, creation, and reverse engineering. Motors from lawn mowers, RC cars and weed whackers were used to demonstrate the many ways to create something new. Lenox Laser’s interchangeable E-Blox technology, which can be used to build practically anything anyone could imagine, was also brought to the table, as well as 3-D printing technology. The printer was used by the students as they wrote out their names with it. A parade was also held that year to celebrate all that had been achieved and created allowing the kids to show off what was made.

The science fair is becoming a staple in the Lenox laser community and has gained a lot of wonderful support and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for all involved. Lenox Laser’s goal is to host another science fair in the summer of 2020.

Visit the Science Fair Competition of Maryland website here

Lenox Laser’s Third Annual Light Seminar

With the success of two light seminars in the history books, Lenox Laser hosted the 3rd Annual Light Seminar on October 4th 2012. This seminar focused on photography. More specifically, the seminar covered the overall history of photography and its different types be that, digital, pinhole photography, the first digital camera and even the evolution of Kodak with companies like Apple.

The seminar included many guest and keynote speakers such as Steven J Sasson, the inventor of the digital camera at Eastman Kodak in 1975. Mr. Sasson’s notable accolades include the 2001 Eastman innovation award, 2009 honorary Dr. of science from the University of Rochester, and an induction in the inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2011 along with numerous others. His speech for the night was called “Disruptive Innovation This Story of the First Digital Camera” in which he would mention that Kodak D5000(ECAM), capable at the time of producing 1.3-million-megapixel image, was introduced during a trade show in 1989. In an amazing partnership with Apple, Kodak was able to bring the public the Apple Quick Take Consumer camera in 1994. In speaking about the Apple partnership, Mr. Sasson’s speech states: “in 1984, Apple came to us at Kodak. Their computers were more imaging friendly than Intel at the time. It had to do with the architecture of the CPUs they were using at the time. They told us if we could build a digital camera it would emigrate on rent for their computers and both parties would sell more.”

Next up would be Mr. Dirk Fletcher discussing his fascination with pinhole photography and camera lenses as well as well as the DSLR camera. Pinhole photography is a camera without a conventional lens. Instead it uses a small aperture creating a light proof box light from which the scene passes through. This is also known as the camera obscura affect. The last two speakers of the night were black and white pinhole photographer Richard A Johnson discussing his pinhole photography fascination as well as travels and photographer Paul Johnson with the demonstration of certain lighting effects in photos. Mr. Johnson also discussed his belief in the importance of preserving memories with photography.

A beautiful photograph can capture memories to last a lifetime and be frozen in time forever, much like the memories of these wonderful light seminars hosted by Lenox Laser, cheers to photo memories new and old and many yet to come.

Click here to learn more about the Third Annual Light Seminar.

Click here to learn more about the wonderful photographers who helped us with this event.

Lenox Laser’s Second Annual Light Seminar

Lenox Laser has an amazing legacy that we hope will continue to grow for many years to come. Adding to that legacy is the fact that on October 4, 2011, Lenox Laser hosted its second annual light seminar celebrating Lenox Laser’s 30th anniversary.

The seminar would feature some amazing presentations with a renowned and respected keynote speaker, Dr. John C Mather. Dr. Mather discussed the famed James Webb Space Telescope and the Big Bang theory. Dr. Mather served as the Senior Project Scientist on the James Webb Space Telescope. He was the recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation. Dr. Mather’s speech was called “History of The Universe in a Nutshell from the Big Bang to Life to the End of Time.” An excerpt from the speech states: “To begin at the beginning-the universe is been expanding for a very long time. We now think that is been doing this for 13.7 billion years.” At the speech’s conclusion, Lenox Laser President Joe d’Entremont presented Dr. Mather with an art piece by Gregory Solyar called “Flying Space.”

Other guest speakers included Professor Reza Sarhangi who is a professor of mathematics at Towson University and President of Bridges. The professor gave a speech on mathematics called “Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science The Art and Mathematics of Star Polygons.”

The final guest speaker the night was Dr. Alexander Dudelzak, the Senior Science and Technology Advisor at The Canadian Space Agency and the Director of R&D at GasTOPS LTD. Ottawa. Dr. Dudelzak gave a talk entitled “Novel Concepts and Applications of LIDAR From the Bottom of the Ocean to Mars.”

Lenox laser had another great success on its hands with the second seminar. Look forward to reading more about other seminars in the coming weeks.

Click here to read more about Lenox Laser’s Second Annual Light Seminar.

Lenox Laser’s First Annual Light Seminar

Lenox Laser is and always has been part of so many monumental achievements. On October 4, 2010 Lenox Laser hosted their first annual light seminar commemorating the 50th anniversary of the creation of the laser to share in their wealth of knowledge. The gathering would not only serve as a testament to what Joe d’Entremont and the fantastic team that Lenox laser started, but as an educational history as well.

Guests included NASA astronomer Dr. John Wood who was a lead engineer on the Hubble telescope helping with optics in the 1990s. Dr. Wood was in attendance to discuss and demonstrate important principles of astrophysics. Some of Dr. Woods accolades include a NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1992 and a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 1994. Lenox Laser is honored to have hosted such a renowned scientist.

Other speakers included Lenox Laser’s own director of engineering, Gregory Solyar. Gregory joined Lenox Laser in 2006 as an optical scientist. There was also Stephen D Fanton, the founder and CEO of Optikos Corporation which specializes in manufacturing optical meteorology systems and designs optics-based products. Last but certainly not least, there was Dr. Dennis Zembala who is an advisor for many cultural museums, organizations and projects.

Perhaps the biggest moment of the night was honorary guest and keynote speaker, the late Dr. Charles Townes. Dr. Townes was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1964, the National Medal of Science in 1982 and the Templeton Prize in 2005. He was the inventor of the Maser, which is the predecessor to the laser. Dr. Townes spoke eloquently about how things began and how he stumbled upon creating the maser. His speech was titled “How New Things Happen.” Dr. Townes got his start working with radar around the time of World War II. An excerpt from Dr. Townes speech. “Well now, as for the Maser, and the laser, they came about not by accident, the buyer hard effort on my part. I was using microwave amplifiers to study molecules. How did that happen? Well again, by accident. I went to Bell Labs to do physics, but at that time war was coming along, World War II, and they sent me to do radar.” The evening was a smashing success and Lenox would go on to host two more light seminars in 2011 and 2012. Look forward to more information on those exciting events in the coming weeks.

To read more about the First Annual Light Seminar or to watch a video of some of the speakers visit the International Institute of Optics website.

The Archimedes Palimpsest

The mysteries of the past can sometimes only be revealed using new and innovative technology. This is the story of the Archimedes Palimpsest. The great Greek mathematician Archimedes left behind 3 books or codexs that we are aware of known as codex A, B, and C. Codex C is known as the Archimedes Palimpsest because the book was taken apart, washed of all its knowledge, and the paper was reused as a prayer book. Codex C was published in 1915 by Johan Heiberg using only a microscope. However this publication was incomplete. For years the book rotted away until one day it ended up in the hands of curator William Noel at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland in January 1999.

The palimpsest restoration project lasted well over eight years and was an immensely arduous task. Walters used multispectral imaging to enhance the writings on the paper, as well as radiation imaging. Given the codex shape, pages missing, and sections being unclear, many treasures couldn’t be seen before in the text. It is hard to know exactly how old the texts may be. A team of imaging scientists at the Walters Art Gallery carefully used highly focused x-ray florescent lights and infrared to carefully view the manuscripts as clearly as possible.

SLAC issued a request to Lenox Laser 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. This is just one of Lenox laser’s many pioneering moments in its history.

The Archimedes project would uncover a possible forgery in Archimedes’s Equilibrium of Planes, even one small section that portion would take over 10 hours for technicians to generate. Another amazing result was the team was able to find a whole column of text on the palimpsest. Thanks to the help of everyone involved in this project so many different fields, Codex C is now available to anyone through the Walters Art Museum.

Archimedes Palimpsest Official Site

The Walters Art Museum

NASA Series: James Webb Telescope

Space has always been a sea of possibilities for humanity to explore and grow our ever-evolving knowledge of the universe. In March 2021, that knowledge will begin to grow exponentially as NASA’s James Webb telescope is expected to launch. The telescope is named for NASA’s second administrator, James E Webb. The primary objective of the mission will be to examine the first light of the universe, along with the study of planets and how they evolve over time. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland will serve as an operations center for the James Webb telescope project. The planned mission duration is five years with a goal of 10 years. It is the hope of scientists that the telescope can measure subjects completely in infrared.

NASA Rendering of the James Webb Telescope

The idea of the telescope started as far back as 1986. The project survived cancellation attempts for its launch in July and November of 2011. It was demoed back in 2000, with its full name being granted in September 2002. The telescope was given a prime contract of $824 million in January 2007. The satellite instrument testing would happen between March 2016 and June 2018, with such things as telescope construction completion, cryogenic testing of instruments and mirror and optics installations.

Lenox Laser is honored to have provided the James Webb telescope with precision alignment targets for its mid-infrared instrument (MIRI). Optical scientist Richard Lyon was kind enough to open Lenox Laser’s industrial Institute of Optics first-class. He was working on the telescope in 2011. Mr. Lyon gave an extensive explanation of the telescope, its progress, and the optical science within the telescope. As the founder of Lenox Laser, Joe D’Entremont was invited to see this process firsthand. Lenox Laser wishes the James Webb mission a very prosperous and successful journey. We hope you have enjoyed this blog series and remember, never stop reaching for the stars.            

Lenox Laser will continue with a new blog next week. Now that we have explored our future over the past two months we will explore our past with the story of the Archimedes Palimpsest.

NASA Series: Galileo

There will always be uncharted areas of space to explore. That kind of unknown can spark a certain curiosity. NASA’s curiosity drove them to launch the satellite Galileo on October 18, 1989 from Space Shuttle Atlantis. Galileo’s mission had a duration of 14 years and it spent seven of them traveling to Jupiter. It studied the planet and its 79 known moons in the Jovian system. Galileo was an unmanned satellite consisting of two probes orbital and entry that could be used to safely enter environments not suitable for astronauts.

NASA Rendering of Galileo Satellite

Galileo made history for being the first craft to land on two asteroids, Gaspra and Ida. The Galileo mission’s discoveries include a study of Jupiter’s ice-cold planet Europa locating evidence of the existence of a saltwater ocean underneath the surface. In 1990, Galileo flew past Venus and captured infrared images of its atmospheric clouds. Other mission findings include the discovery of a magnetic field started by the moon Ganymede, and volcanic activity evidence on the moon called Lo. At mission’s end, the craft was intentionally crashed into Jupiter to prevent contamination of its local moons. Galileo’s main mission enlisted 200 staff members with the mission planned for December 7, 1985 to December 1997. It would extend to January 2003 with satellite destruction. Studies of the planets Europa and Lo lasted from December 8, 1997 to December 31, 1999. Jupiter’s water study and Lo’s plasma study were both completed in that timeframe.

Lenox Laser aided the mission starting in 1985 by drilling one 19.5 micron precision hole in hastelloy discs that were used for the spacecraft’s helium leak detector. The main reason for the hastelloy alloy was its ability withstand high temperatures and still have greater efficiency and moderately to severe corrosive environments. The alloy is made up of such metals as aluminum, carbon, tungsten, chromium, copper, magnesium, cobalt, and iron. Lenox Laser is the industrial pioneer of microscopic hole technology. Only Lenox Laser was able to create the process to drill such a small hole in a material such as hastelloy.

Galileo Galilei once said, “If you could see the Earth illuminated when you were in a place as dark as night, it would look to you more splendid than the moon.” Lenox Laser is amazed and honored to be part of humanities never ending quest to unravel the mysteries and true magic of space. Join us again next week for our final installment, The James Webb Telescope.

NASA Series: STEREO

From dawn to dusk, to the studies of Copernicus, our civilization has always revolved around the Sun. In the case of NASA’s STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory) mission, the Sun was the focus of examination for years. The mission helped scientists greatly increase their current understanding of the Sun. The two STEREO crafts launched in Florida at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on October 26, 2006. The initial mission was planned for two years but continued for just over 12 years.

            Lenox Laser’s involvement assisted in STEREO capturing images of the sun in three dimensions. Lenox Laser provided consultation and fabricated custom parts to help guide focus testing on STEREO’s instruments at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Not only did Lenox Laser play a crucial part of NASA’s major successes for the mission, it also garnered a NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Instrument Systems and Technology Division 2006 Contractor Team Spirit Award. This is an honor that Lenox Laser still regards highly today. The fascination with space never ceases to amaze or inspire, Lenox Laser hopes to continue to do so for many years to come.

NASA rendering of the two STEREO satellites and the Sun.

            The STEREO mission examined the Sun’s particles and compositions, as well as its damaging solar windstorms. It also discovered that the strength of the Sun’s magnetic field became weaker the further into the heated atmosphere scientists observed. They were able to study the edge of the sun to see how solar winds originated. Coronal mass ejections were also studied. CME’s are powerful solar options that can block the 10 billion tons of the Sun’s atmosphere into interplanetary space. They can travel almost 1 million miles per hour. 3-D images of the sun were beamed back to NASA to help them understand the measurement of the Sun’s heat, solar flares, and the overall composition and environment. On February 6, 2011, the Sun could be seen in full. This was due to the space-crafts being 180° apart. Last established contact with the STEREO mission crafts was in 2016.

May the light of the sun fill the Earth for decades and may beams of new discoveries never be extinguished. We hope that you will join Lenox Laser again for more exciting journeys of space travel next week.

NASA Series: Messenger

Space, though vast and unknown, can send us endless messages that last forever. Humanity has been enchanted with the cosmos throughout history. It was only until recently that we could explore our surrounding universe. NASA continued our fascination on August 3, 2004 with the launch of the Messenger satellite mission. Messenger’s main mission was to explore the planet Mercury and study the geology, magnetic fields, and chemical composition. Messenger became the first ever spacecraft to enter Mercury’s orbit on March 18, 2011.

NASA Rendering of Messenger Satellite

Messenger went on to discover past volcanic activity, organic compounds, and water on the planet surface. The satellite orbited Mercury once every year, due to the planet’s relatively slow rotation. Lenox Laser had the honor of laser drilling parts for NASA’s mission providing Messenger with High-Powered Ceramic Apertures used for spatial filtering. These specially made apertures from Lenox laser were on the spacecraft when it orbited Venus on its way to the mission planet Mercury. Lenox Laser’s involvement with Messenger continued past completion of its primary mission in 2012. Lenox Laser provided macor and flight quality alumina apertures for the Mercury Laser Altimeter on board Messenger.

Ultimately, the Messenger satellite was destroyed on April 30, 2015, when it impacted Mercury in a crash landing. Messenger discovered that Mercury’s planet surface is at an astounding 800°F with a surface area of over 28 million miles.  Scientists also discovered that Mercury contains craters full of water ice on the North Pole side of the planet. This is incredible because of the heat produced by its close proximity to the Sun. Mission data found that the planet had an iron rich core, and that its past volcanic activity could date back almost 4 million years. NASA is not quite sure how the planet was formed given Mercury dense atmosphere. The Messenger mission helped expand humanity’s knowledge of the universe, and Lenox Laser is proud to be a part of that ever-growing legacy.

Join us next Thursday to read more about Lenox Laser’s involvement with NASA’s missions as part of our NASA series.

NASA Series: Hubble Space Telescope

It is said that a picture’s worth 1000 words. If that sentiment is true, then all the pictures taken by NASA’s famed Hubble telescope are priceless.  The Hubble telescope, named after the famed astronomer Edward P Hubble, launched on April 24, 1990 and was deployed the following day. Lenox Laser would become involved with the Hubble project in 1981.  Lenox Laser would provide custom slits for the Hubble instruments, as well as twice providing custom stainless-steel discs with crosses in 1989 and 1991.

Hubble Space Telescope, Image Courtesy of NASA

Lenox Laser would provide precision crosshair fiducials and slits. Fiducials can be any object placed in the field-of-view of an imaging system for a point of reference. They can be used in things such as medical imaging, physics, radiotherapy and geological surveys. Any time the Hubble telescope takes pictures of stars, planets, and galaxies, the subject of the photo can be moving past the telescope an estimated 17,000 mph.  Astronauts have made well over 1.3 million observations with the assistance of the Hubble since mission launch. The Hubble has an expected decay date anywhere between 2030 and 2040 according to Nasa mission data. As of 2019, it is still in active service for photos.

Five shuttle missions have repaired and serviced the Hubble, with the final shuttle mission taking place on May 11, 2009. We at Lenox Laser hope that Hubble continues to give humanity an awe-inspiring look at the vast scope and immense beauty in the galaxy with its estimated time left. May the light of infinite galaxies continue to guide the way to bold discovery, new paths uncharted, and boundless wonders that will inspire humanity to reach beyond the depths of our existence.

We hope that you will continue to follow Lenox laser more Nasa mission excitement!!

For more information on the Hubble Space Telescope follow the link below.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/index.html

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