Xenics Nv

Leuven, Belgium

Xenics Nv

Leuven, Belgium
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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.5 | Award Amount: 10.64M | Year: 2012

In recent years it has become clear that mid-IR imaging spectroscopy has the potential to open a new chapter in bio-medical imaging and offers an effective tool for early cancer diagnosis and improved survival rates. Rather than a search for cancer marker absorption peaks, great progress has been made by analysing the entire bio-molecular mid-IR spectral signature using automated algorithms. However, the lack of suitable sources, detectors and components has restricted the technology to one of academic interest, based on weak thermal sources, low power lasers or synchrotron research tools.For the first time the photonic technology is in place to develop a new mid-IR technology platform on which entirely novel supercontinuum sources (c. 1000x brighter than thermal sources) covering the whole range from 1.5 to 12 m may be built:-Low loss robust chalcogenide fibres for fibre lasers, supercontinuum generation and delivery -Fibre end caps, splicing and fusion technology for soft glass fibres -Crystal technology and novel designs for mid-IR AO modulators based on calomel -Flexible fast AO driver technology to enable high speed HSI acquisition -Low cost T2SL FPA detectors with performance matching state-of-the-art MSL devices -2.9 m Er:ZBLAN and 4.5 m Pr-doped chalcogenide fibre laser pumps -Robust designs for a range of mid-IR SCG sources: a) 1.5-4.5 m from ZBLAN fibre b) 1.5-5.5 m from InF3 fibre c) 3-9 m from 2.9 m pumped PCF chalcogenide fibre d) 4-12 m from 4.5 m pumped step-index chalcogenide fibre.Two specific high impact applications will be addressed: high volume pathology screening (i.e. automated microscope-based examination of samples) and in vivo, remote, real-time skin surface examination (i.e. non-invasive investigation of suspected skin cancer).This project will open the mid-IR to further exploitation, and the technology developed will be transferable to a huge range of applications both in bio-photonics and in wider industry.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-26-2014 | Award Amount: 4.14M | Year: 2015

Image-guided needle procedures - such as taking biopsies in screening cancerous tumours - are becoming increasingly important in clinical practice. Today, physicians are severely hampered by the lack of precision in positioning the needle tip. Real-time tissue-characterization feedback at the needle tip during these procedures can significantly improve the outcome of diagnosis and treatment, and reduce the cost of oncology treatment. Spectral tissue sensing using photonic needles has the promise to be a valuable diagnostic tool for screening tumours, as shown by several clinical trials. However, for widespread adoption the cost and size of these photonic needle systems - in particular the spectrometer console - needs to be improved dramatically. The realization of a low-cost miniature system is limited by three key challenges: Broadband (VIS\NIR) illumination Broadband (VIS\NIR) sensitivity Integration of the system InSPECT will address these challenges by developing and integrating photonic building blocks for low-cost miniaturized spectral tissue sensing devices. This involves the realization of a miniature broadband (400-1700 nm) solid-state light source, based on phosphor and quantum-dot converted LEDs, and the realization of a miniature low-cost integrated VIS\NIR spectrometer. For the spectrometer integration we will follow 2 approaches: The micro-spectrometer, a moderate risk approach based on the miniaturisation and monolithic integration of diffractive dispersive elements and VIS\NIR photo-detectors in a small volume (cubic inch) device, and The nano-spectrometer, a higher risk approach in which the spectrometer function is realized in a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) based on transparent SiO/SiN waveguide technology. This is a unique, novel, and timely approach to realize the key photonics building blocks for low-cost miniature spectrometers that will drive the adoption of spectral sensing in applications that were not accessible before.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2010.3.2.1-1 | Award Amount: 2.22M | Year: 2011

Cultural heritage monitoring comprehends a sum of technologies, protocols and studies which need to be modernized and automated to reduce costs and process time. Current spectroscopy permits the study and characterisation of the surface of artworks by the inspection of specific spectral bands, by means of different techniques. As a consequence, the sets of results are often difficult or slow to link, compare or process in order to generate global information about the piece-in-study. In this way, a set of analysis processes must be performed over the artwork, involving piece moving, manipulation, transportation, etc, and therefore putting the artwork at risk of deterioration. The main target of SYDDARTA is to develop a pre-industrial prototype for diagnosing the deterioration on movable assets by the acquisition of 3D-hyperspectral imaging through scanning non-destructive techniques. Such images contain spectroscopic information of the piece to be analysed in different bands of the spectrum, giving chemical composition information of the different materials and layers in the actual 3D surface by means of a very narrow screening bandwidth and the use of volumetric digitisation. These analyses are carried out combining mapping, spectroscopic and image processing techniques, based on tunable filters and customised light sources. The expected prototype will be a new portable type of equipment to use in the preventive conservation and monitoring of movable cultural assets and will provide enormous data sets by non-destructive characterisation techniques. Moreover, the equipment will make use a specific database of materials and pigments monitoring that will be exploited as well. The merging of the technologies involved will be suitable for fast authentication and traceability of cultural assets and will improve the monitoring and conservation of artworks in general, as well as facilitating art digitisation sharing between the cultural organisations across Europe. In addition, the expected project results will not be specific to the art and heritage cultural sector, and may be applied to other fields of research, engineering or industry, for example, for biomedicine, manufacturing, food industry, chemistry or recycling. This means a wider market impact and a greater societal benefit inside and out the European Union.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2009.3.2.1.2 | Award Amount: 3.63M | Year: 2009

The proposed project aims to develop an automatic early warning system to remotely monitor areas of archaeological and cultural interest from the risk of fire and extreme weather conditions. Since these areas have been treasured and tended for very long periods of time, they are usually surrounded by old and valuable vegetation or situated close to forest regions, which exposes them to an increased risk of fire. Additionally, extreme weather conditions (such as storms and floods) pose great risks for these sites. The proposed system will take advantage of recent advances in multi-sensor surveillance technologies, using a wireless sensor network capable of monitoring different modalities (e.g. temperature) andoptical and infrared cameras, as well as local weather stations on the deployment site. The signals collected from these sensors will be transmitted to a monitoring center, which will employ intelligent computer vision and pattern recognition algorithms as well as data fusion techniques to automatically analyze sensor information. The proposed system will be capable of generating automatic warning signals for local authorities whenever a dangerous situation arises. Detecting the starting position of a fire is only the first step in fire fighting. After detecting a wildfire, the main focus should be the estimation of the propagation direction and speed in order to help forest fire management. FIRESENSE will provide real-time information about the evolution of fire using wireless sensor network data. Furthermore, it will estimate the propagation of the fire based on the fuel model of the area and other important parameters such as wind speed, slope, and aspect of the ground surface. Finally, a 3-D Geographic Information System (GIS) environment will provide visualisation of the predicted fire propagation.Demonstrator deployments will be operated in selected sites in Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Italy.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.8 | Award Amount: 3.67M | Year: 2010

The aim of this project is to transfer the latest advances in plasmonics achieved in the visible to the mid-IR. The main objectives of the project are (1) to look at the fundamental limits and develop new simulation tools for plasmons in the mid-IR, (2) to develop plasmon enhanced surfaces for spectroscopic chemical sensing (SCS), and (3) to use plasmon enhanced surfaces for light harvesting technology. The result of the project will include new software, SCS surfaces for infra-red spectroscopy and smart, cheaper, mid-IR photodetectors. \nThe term plasmonics refers to the investigation, development and application of enhanced electromagnetic properties of metallic (nano-) structures and is starting to find applications in a range of photonic devices such as VCSELs and high speed photodetectors. While the promise of plasmonics photonic components in the visible and NIR is very promising, this project will exploit the huge potential for plasmonics in the IR (i.e. the 1.6-16 m range) that could be truly disruptive.\nIn the mid-IR (a) plasmon losses are much lower than in the visible so the range of possible devices is much larger (b) this area is largely unexplored for applied plasmonics, and (c) IR technology is undergoing a quiet revolution due to key advances such as such room temperature Quantum Cascade Lasers and miniature Fourier transform spectrometers (FTS). This project will help launch the IR revolution by enabling both SCS surfaces and better mid-IR detectors.\nPLAISIR will develop SCS with sensitivity more than 200 times larger than that of a simple surface. This will be combined with microfluidics and integrated into a FTS. The project will work with both InGaAs and HgCdTe photodetectors, by using LHT to improve their noise performance, and tailor their spectral and polarization response. \nThis project includes 4 major actors in fundamental and applied plasmon research, 3 SMEs and an external advisory board made up of strategic end users and key academics


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ECSEL-RIA | Phase: ECSEL-01-2015 | Award Amount: 14.53M | Year: 2016

Current driver assistance systems are not all-weather capable. They offer comfort and safety in sound environmental conditions. However, in adverse weather conditions where the accident risks are highest they malfunction or even fail. Now that we are progressing towards automated cars and work machines, the requirements of fully reliable environment perception are only accentuated. The project is focusing on automated driving and its key enabling technology, environment perception. Consequently, projects main objective is to develop and validate an all-weather sensor suit for traffic services, driver assistance and automated driving. Extended driving environment perception capability with smart, reliable and cost-efficient sensing system is necessary to meet the targets of all future driver assistance system applications. These targets need to be met regardless of location, weather or time of the day. Only by means of reliable and robust sensing system upcoming automated driving will be possible. The new sensor suit is based on a smart integration of three different technologies: (i) Radio radar, 77 GHz-81 GHz, (MIMO Radar); (ii) Gated short wave infrared camera with pulsed laser illumination (SWIR camera)and (iii) Short-wave infrared LIDAR (SWIR Lidar). Such a full fusion approach has never been investigated before, so that the outcome will advance the state-of-the-art significantly and demonstrate the potential of all-weather environment perception. DENSE innovation lies in the provision of a brilliant restored enriched colour image from a degraded infrared image and consequently, this is followed by a variety of application fields for low cost solutions. An important aim is also to close the gap to US developments in the field and avoid their restrictions for selling components overseas for strategic reasons and strengthen the position of European industry in worldwide competition.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT-2007-3.3-02;AAT-2007-6.1-04 | Award Amount: 6.34M | Year: 2008

The availability of highly integrated laser and optics technology offer the prospect of increased aircraft Air Data System robustness in adverse conditions. Indeed, although critical, the system is subject to hailstone, icing, corrosion, bird collision, passenger stairs mishandling. Thus the optics technology offers the capability to improve the operational capacity and safety of the air transport system. DANIELA aims to carry out research and development as well as technology maturity improvement to prepare the installation on new airliners of a fully non intrusive Optical Air Data System (OADS). Thus DANIELA will: - validate the capability of the system to measure the parameters in all flight conditions : DANIELA will address the main issues coming from the use of signal back scattering instead of well known pressure measures. Atmosphere particle dissemination studies will be performed, and OADS system will be evaluated in a worst case ie high altitude un polar conditions. - investigate and mature dedicated technology : improvement in laser sources and optical functions integration glasses are the key technology to reach commercial air transport requirements and insure an European source for optical ADS, along with dedicated signal processing schemes. Resistance of side mounted OADS glasses to dust, ice or sand as well as any atmospheric erosion will be evaluated during representative test in wind tunnel. - evaluate new temperature measurement principle that allow replacement of the intrusive TAT probe. Future generation airliner studies have already set the main driver for a competitive aircraft. DANIELA aims to push integration a step beyond NESLIE demonstrator to fully validate the OADS concept with regards to future commercial air transport needs. The output of the project will be validated technology that enable the introduction of OADS in future airliners (around 2015) and secure the certification process of such aircraft.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.9 | Award Amount: 4.01M | Year: 2010

In this project, we will develop a smart miniaturized system which integrates optical fiber sensor technology, nano-photonic chip technology and low power wireless technology. The smart system will enable for the first time fully embedded structural health monitoring of composites used as structural parts in e.g. wind turbine blades, satellites, airplanes, civil constructions, oil and gas wells, boat hulls. Due to the innovative approach of integrating micro-technologies, SMARTFIBER will demonstrate a smart system so small (order mms) that it can be embedded as a whole in the fiber reinforced polymer. As such, the system takes away the main technical roadblock for the industrial uptake of optical fiber sensors as structural health monitoring technology in composite structures: embedding of both fiber sensor and fiber interrogator omits the fragile external fiber coupling to an external interrogator. SMARTFIBER will drive ICT to make truly intelligent composites.\n\nThe technologies to be integrated optical fiber Bragg grating sensors, nano-photonic chip technology and low power wireless technology- have all proven practicability. SMARTFIBER envisages the high risk of integrating the technologies to a system that both complies with the composite manufacturing process and performs well when embedded in a fiber reinforced polymer. The technology will be integrated and demonstrated in a real production environment.\n\nThe large industrial involvement in SMARTFIBER is significant. The value chain of the microsystem is fully covered by the partners activities. This strategy gives industrial take-up and commercial development of the technology a huge chance.\n\nThe smart miniaturized systems will provide the user a continuous record of structural data which will inform decisions on maintenance, thereby obviating the need for expensive, periodic maintenance, as well as warning of potentially catastrophic mechanical failures, increasing safety remarkably.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SEC-2012.3.5-1 | Award Amount: 14.44M | Year: 2014

The SUNNY project aims to contribute to EUROSUR by defining a new tool for collecting real-time information in operational scenarios. SUNNY represents a step beyond existing research projects due to the following main features: A two-tier intelligent heterogeneous UAV sensor network will be considered in order to provide both large field and focused surveillance capabilities, where the first-tier sensors, carried by medium altitude, long-endurance autonomous UAVs, are used to patrol large border areas to detect suspicious targets and provide global situation awareness. Fed with the information collected by the first-tier sensors, the second-tier sensors will be deployed to provide more focused surveillance capability by tracking the targets and collecting further evidence for more accurate target recognition and threat evaluation. Novel algorithms will be developed to analyse the data collected by the sensors for robust and accurate target identification and event detection; Novel sensors and on-board processing generation, integrated on UAV system, will be focus on low weight, low cost, high resolution that can operate under variable conditions such as darkness, snow, and rain. In particular, SUNNY will develop sensors that generate both RGB image, Near Infrared (NIR) image and hyperspectral image and that use radar information to detect, discriminate and track objects of interest inside complex environment with focus on the sea borders. Alloying to couple sensor processing and preliminary detection results (on-board) with local UAV control, leading to innovative active sensing techniques, replacing low level sensor data communication by a higher abstraction level of information communication. The exploitation and adaptation of emerging standard wireless technologies and architectures as IEEE 802.11a/g/n, IEEE 802.11p, DVB-T2, Mobile WiMAX, LTE, and Wi-Fi@700MHz will be considered due to their low cost and advantageous features.


Patent
Xenics N.V. | Date: 2014-10-29

The present invention relates to a method for operating a detection circuit for detecting photocurrent, said detection circuit comprising a photodiode (1), a pixel amplifier (2) and a MOS transistor (3) having a gate, a source and a drain, said photodiode being connected to an input of a pixel amplifier (2) and said MOS transistor being connected between the input of the pixel amplifier and an output of the pixel amplifier. The method comprises the steps of- illuminating the photodiode (1), yielding a photocurrent,- applying to the pixel amplifier (2) an input voltage derived from the photocurrent,- applying a current output by the pixel amplifier to the MOS transistor (3) whereby said output current forms a current between the drain and source of the MOS transistor, said MOS transistor being supplied at the gate with a gate voltage (VLOG), until the current between the drain and source substantially is in balance with the photocurrent,- exploiting a logarithmic portion of a gate-to-source voltage characteristic as a function of the current between the drain and source of the MOS transistor to obtain at the pixel amplifier output a voltage being a logarithmic function of the photocurrent.

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