To achieve the ambitious goal of directly imaging exo-Earths with a coronagraph, future space-based astronomical telescopes will require wavefront stability several orders of magnitude beyond state-of-the-art. The Ultra-Stable Large Telescope Research and Analysis – Technology Maturation (ULTRA-TM) program will mature critical technologies for this new regime of “ultra-stable optical systems” through component-level hardware demonstrations.
This paper describes the progress towards demonstrating performance of these technologies in the picometer regime and with flight-like properties – including active systems like segment sensing and actuation and thermal sensing and control, as well as passive systems like low distortion mirror mounts and composite structures. Raising the TRL of these technologies will address the most difficult parts of the stability problem with the longest lead times and provide significant risk reduction for their inclusion in future mission concepts.
Raman microscopy is a key technique for biological imaging since it can provide valuable information about the chemical constituents of a sample without any labels. However, because two wavelengths are required for either CARS or SRS to occur, most Raman imaging set ups use multiple lasers with complicated synchronization requirements. In this presentation, we discuss the design and performance of a tunable Ytterbium-based fiber laser and an optical parametric oscillator for Raman microscopy. Our system uses a single laser that creates both pump and probe beams via nonlinear optical effects. Due to its reasonable high peak power, this laser system is a suitable light source for multimodal microscopy using both Raman and multiphoton imaging functionalities.
The beauty of gems and minerals have been examined and appreciated by optical tools for centuries. Current methods for examining the interior structure of gems and minerals typically requires a sample to be cut and polished prior to imaging. In this presentation, we introduce a new tool for imaging gems and minerals in three dimensions, the multiphoton microscope. We have demonstrated that the multiphoton microscope can capture fascinating information from natural gems and minerals with sub-micron resolution at depths up to the millimeter scale. This new application of multiphoton microscopy may open the doors to non-destructive characterization leading to new information on the formation, structure, and appearance of these stones that have fascinated the eye for centuries.
Surgical resection of pancreatic cancer represents the only chance of cure and long-term survival in this common disease. Unfortunately, determination of a cancer-free margin at surgery is based on one or two tiny frozen section biopsies, which is far from ideal. Not surprisingly, cancer is usually left behind and is responsible for metastatic disease. We demonstrate a method of receptor-targeted imaging using peptide ligands, lipid microbubbles, and multiphoton microscopy that could lead to a fast and accurate way of examining the entire cut surface during surgery. Using a plectin-targeted microbubble, we performed a blinded in-vitro study to demonstrate avid binding of targeted microbubbles to pancreatic cancer cells but not noncancerous cell lines. Further work should lead to a much-needed point-of-care diagnostic test for determining clean margins in oncologic surgery.