Site: Institute of Automation and Electrometry
Universitetskii Pr., 1
Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia

Date Visited: October 30, 1995

WTEC Attendees:

M. J. DeHaemer (report author), L. Gentry, J. Moniz

Hosts:

Semen T. Vaskov

Director, Corresponding Member of RAS.
Phone: (3832) 354550 (354851 FAX).
Email: vaskov@iae.nsk.su

Eduard G. Kostov

Head of Laboratory
Phone: (3832) 351052 (354851 FAX)
Email: kostov@iae.nsk.su

BACKGROUND

The institute was founded in 1957 as a "physical-technical" research organization. A short brochure describing it lists 25 scientific laboratories, which may be grouped into three broad categories.

  1. Laser and nonlinear physics
  2. New information technologies
  3. Task-oriented computer systems

The institute publishes a scientific journal: Optoelectronics Instrumentation and Data Processing.

The institute currently has 500 employees, which include three academicians, 25 doctors of science, and 100 candidates for doctor of science, as well as staff and technical support personnel. A major reduction in monetary support from the Russian Academy of Sciences has caused the institute to actively seek sources from domestic industry and various institutes abroad. About half the institute's operating funds are obtained from contracted work. The countries of India, Germany, and Italy were mentioned as sources of contract work for development of specific pieces of hardware.

RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY

The WTEC group was first given an overview of current projects which illustrated the research emphasis of the institute. The group was given a tour of several laboratories with demonstrations of some of the experimental equipment.

In optoelectronics the research emphasizes materials and devices development for short wavelength systems. Work is also being done on pattern recognition by means of optoelectronics. The institute has been working about 20 years in computer graphics, having developed a flight simulator for cosmonauts that is still in use, and now are in what they see as the third generation of simulation, which is virtual reality.

Work is being done to develop ferroelectric materials for computer memory storage. Optoelectronics systems coupled with artificial neural networks have been applied to pattern recognition. The latter systems have been successful at automating control of industrial heaters through observation of the flames of the furnace. Finally, mathematical modeling has been well developed for x-ray tomography, and image processing.

The WTEC panel were shown models of gravity measuring devices that have been accepted for accuracy by the International Bureau of Measurement. The gravimeter achieved an accuracy of 10-9 gravities, incorporating laser interferometry measurement with a rubidium time standard of 10-11 seconds. The gravimeter, with the sensitivity to measure a change in gravity that is due to a change in height by only 1 centimeter, is portable, and can be set up in less than 24 hours time.

The institute's strength in mathematical models and algorithms was demonstrated in two areas. An x-ray tomography system was able to provide a rotatable 3-D-like view of human dental structure that would have applications in face surgery. This tomography system was in trials at a medical institute in Novosibirsk. The system was said to require only about one-tenth of the radiation exposure of a set of x-ray films needed to achieve a similar amount of information. Phillips and Siemens were prospective partners in this project.

Software for high speed detection of objects from satellite images was demonstrated. A space shuttle was detected immediately upon launch by separating it from clutter and noise in a sequence of visual frames from an orbiting satellite. Research is continuing, with anticipated applications for digital processing in acoustics and other areas. Some of the other areas might be classification of the age of arctic ice from radar images, reconstruction of low-contrast electron microscope images of virus particles, and analysis of blood to determine its age dynamics.

Several laser and optical labs were demonstrated to the WTEC group. A precision laser (see laser bench in Figure 2.12) enables computer-generated glass masters for embossed holograms and for the production of precision filters and diffraction gratings. The holograms have application in shaping the laser beam to refine a circular point or to create an approximately square output intensity profile. The same system may provide automatic fabrication of chromium masks for microelectronics. Products from this laser facility were reported to have been certified for accuracy and were then used themselves in procedures to certify the new corrective mirror for the Hubbell space telescope.

The observation of light-induced drift of gaseous materials was reported to have been discovered at the institute in 1979. This "light induced drift" (LID) phenomenon has been investigated over the past 15 years as a means to enrich or separate particles of extremely low concentration. Absorption of laser energy of specific wavelength, which is related to the size of the particle, imparts anisotropic movement to particles in a gas. Excitation may impart velocities up to one-tenth the speed of light. The phenomenon may be used to separate gases of atoms, molecules, as well as certain nuclear spin isotopes. Twelve of the institute's staff are researching this area and are connected to four other institutes -- Dubna near Moscow and in the Czech Republic, Italy, and the Netherlands.

[figure 2_12]
Fig. 2.12. Precision laser.

Additional theoretical and research efforts are producing results in understanding solid state lasers. A goal of one laboratory is to produce solid state laser stability by introducing negative optical feedback. In conjunction with the Institute of Nonorganic Chemistry, experiments have succeeded in demonstrating stable operation of a powerful pulsed solid-state PGT KGd (WO4)2:Nd3+ laser (Gulev et al.). Using this method, stability has been achieved for short periods (500 femtoseconds). Other areas of investigation are pulse propagation through non-linear media (fiber), laser material heating problems, and new active media for solid state lasers. In cooperation with the Institute of Nuclear Physics, work is in progress on violet and ultra violet region lasers. A 437 nm violet line was discussed, as was achievement of a 100-watt continuous wave in the blue-green region.

SUMMARY

The Institute for Automation and Electrometry is a very strong basic research institution that is mostly active in laser research, laser materials, laser-produced optical products, and laser-induced drift particle separation. The institute's precision gravimeters are of direct interest to the ocean technologies area. In addition, the mathematical algorithms and advance signal processing techniques that have been developed may have relevance in the marine environment for target detection in high noise and for tomographic presentation of various structures. The institute expressed interest in international cooperation for both research and commercial projects.

REFERENCES

Atutov, S. N., S. V. Plotnikov, S. P. Pod'yachev, and A. M. Shalgin. 1994. "Light-induced drift of an optically thick cloud of sodium vapor." Physics Letters A, 193, 179-182.

Churin, E. G., J. Hossfeld, and T. Tschudi. 1993. "Polarization configurations with singular point formed by computer generated holograms." Optics Communications, 99, 13-17.

Egorov, V. M., and E. G. Kostov. 1990. "Integral optical digital computers." Applied Optics, Vol. 29, No. 8, March, 1178-85.

Gulev, V. S., S. L. Mikerin, V. D. Ugozhayev, A. A. Pavlyuk, and V. F. Nesterenko. "Powerful pulse solid-state laser based on potassium-gadolinium tungstate neodimium doped crystals." Unpublished paper, Institute of Automation and Electrometry and Institute of Nonorganic Chemistry, Novosibirsk.

Institute of Automation and Electrometry, descriptive brochure.

Kirichuk, V. S. "Digital Image Processing Laboratory." Unpublished description of laboratory research and achievements.

Koronkevitch, V. P., Korolkov, Poleshchuk, Palchikova, Yulov, Mikhalsova, Churin, Sokolov, and Sedukhin. 1989. "Kinoforms: technologies, new elements, and optical systems." Preprint N 421, Institute of Automation and Electrometry, Novosibirsk.

Kostov, E. G. 1995. "Ferroelectric films: peculiarities in their applications to construction of new generations of memory devices." Ferroelectrics, Vol. 167, 169-176.

Laser Technology Laboratory, unpublished circulars on "Beam shaping optical elements," "Computer generated glass masters for embossed holograms," "Circular variable neutral density filter" and "Technology and equipment for fabrication of plane optical elements."

Potaturkin, O. I. Robot Vision Laboratory. Unpublished description of laboratory research and achievements.

Shalagin, A. M. "Light-induced drift phenomenon as a basis for isotope separation." Unpublished paper, Institute of Automation and Electrometry.

Sokolev, V. S. 1986. Laser Doppler Velocimeter. (Brochure in Russian), Institute of Automation and Electrometry, Novosibirsk.


Published: August 1996; WTEC Hyper-Librarian