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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited
Banner Engineering Corp.
Banner engineering claims to produce the industry's most complete integrated line of photoelectric sensors and fiber optics, in addition to ultrasonic proximity and presence sensors and machine safety products. This claim is somewhat borne out by the scale of their Website, which contains a phenomenal amount of product information, at least in their number. However, in addition to the lists of products, there is a lot of information available about the field in general, with a good supply of application information and examples. The site is colourfully illustrated throughout with both technical drawings and photographs of the products in action. A literature request form is available; however, many of the documents are available to download in Adobe pdf format. For the uninitiated in the field of photoelectric sensors, they offer a 12-page "Introduction to photoelectric sensors" document to download. A contact and request form completes what is a well executed commercial site.
Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), Southampton University
This site's information content is huge. The ORC is the national Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Lasers and Optical Electronics and was established by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in collaboration with industry and other bodies such as The Royal Society. It is a purely research institute on Southampton's campus with a total complement of some 100 staff. The research ranges from basic physics and electronics, to applied research providing applications in optical communications, lasers, medicine, the air and sea environment, aerospace and general engineering. Browsing through the project descriptions provides a picture of the state of the art in optoelectronics and its applications. For the researcher more detailed information is available by means of the abstracted recent papers page, which provides illustrated résumés of selected significant publications. Perhaps the most impressive feature of the site, however, is its archive of publications going back over the eight year history of the institution. There are literally thousands of papers, available either by ftp, or as they put it "on paper as a last resort". Unfortunately, the information has not been split into very manageable lumps, so beware of memory problems on lesser PCs. The site has a bulletin which is amply illustrated with impressive photographs of the centre's facilities and activities, though once again they are big and memory intensive, slowing down access to the site. On top of all this there is information about staff, including employment and study opportunities, some optics Internet links and for those who might be interested, a page on their server and its statistics.
Sentronic is a Dresden/Dortmund-based company whose business is to apply the technologies of optical spectroscopy, fluorescence and thin film effects in the detection of mainly chemical properties. Their bilingual Website is a colourful catalogue style offering, though does offer some broader applications information. Unfortunately, the site is still under construction, with the German language pages some way ahead of the English. For the German speaker, though, it is worth a visit for the miniature and pc card based spectrometers.
Blue Road Research
Blue road research offer educational activities, consulting and research and development services in the field of fibre optic sensors. Although their Website is a fairly simple introduction to the organisation, reading it, and particularly the overviews of the educational material, gives a good impression of the state of the art in fibre optic sensors. The company itself offers training videos, hands on courses and co-sponsors the annual Pacific Northwest Fiber Optic Sensor Workshop.
Fiber Optic Sensor Technology Handbook
An entire handbook free to download in pdf format (7.7M) mentioned again since it seems such a good offer.
NASA Instrument and Sensing Technology, Museum Guide
On a lighter note at the other end of the spectrum from the state of the art covered at most of the above, this is a good selection of museum sites connected with observatories, scientific instruments and the like.
Iee automotive, USA
Iee Automotive produce sensors based on what was Interlink's force sensing resistor (FSR®) technology, and apply them to automotive applications, in particular safety oriented areas such as airbag deployment, anti-trap protection and passenger weight classification schemes. The slightly garish site gives an introduction to the technology and an overview of its successful application to the automotive industry, including press releases and explanations of the role of the sensors.
This site is the author's attempt at a one stop repository for information regarding the measurement of temperature. It includes pages on standards, sensor types and data, and other Internet temperature links. At the time of writing the coverage is somewhat patchy, the author making it clear that this is a long-term project. There is still quite a lot here, though, and it might prove a useful resource.