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Home > News & Events > 25 Years of Amazing Sensing Solutions

25 Years of Amazing Sensing Solutions

Ocean Optics Marks a Milestone in Customer Partnership 

 

Somewhere amid this tangle of fibers and cabling is the miniature spectrometer that helped launch thousands of applications.

It all started with two guys in a boat.

 

Some entrepreneurial-minded scientists from Florida started Ocean Optics in the late ’80s, seeded by a U.S. government grant for an oceanographic pH sensor.

 

As part of their work, the scientists needed a spectrometer to deploy at sea – and were surprised to discover that none existed small enough, flexible enough, or affordable enough to meet their needs. So, like all resourceful inventors, they made their own.

 

By April 1992, Ocean Optics had sold “the world’s first miniature fiber optic spectrometer,” to a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Since then, our technologies have evolved and our product offering has expanded, while customers continue to surprise and amaze us with applications made possible with optical sensing.

 

 

Collaborating to Solve Problems

To paraphrase one of our founders, without problems to solve, there is no Ocean Optics. Our products are just tools: It’s our knowledge and commitment, combined with the customer’s curiosity and creativity, that inspire success. Consider some of the remarkable applications our customers have accomplished:

 

  • Apple sorting and grading
  • Biodiesel quality control
  • Color testing of LEDs
  • Dental curing light measurement
  • Elemental analysis of wastewater
  • Food authentication and security
  • Grains inspection for quality control
  • Heme proteins analysis
  • Mercury analysis in water, soils and fish
  • Night filter transmission efficiency
  • Olive oil fraud detection
  • Precision agriculture via remote monitoring
  • Resins identification and sorting
  • Soil reflectance in thermal pools
  • Transmission of glass filters
  • UV transmission of sunglasses
  • Volcanic emissions monitoring
  • Wine fermentation monitoring

Taking us to Amazing Places 

 

Flame Spectrometer with Villarrica (Chile) in the background

Our customers have taken us – more correctly, our spectrometers and optical sensing equipment – to some remarkable places to explore, investigate and monitor:

  • Deep-sea thermal vents, Indian Ocean – O2 respiration in snails
  • Falkland Islands, South America – color of rockhopper penguin bills (beaks)
  • Kailua-Kona, Hawaii – fluorescence of corals
  • Mt. Everest – ozone measurement
  • Smithsonian Museum of Natural History – optical properties of the Hope Diamond and other gemstones
  • Surface of the Moon, part of NASA’s LCROSS mission – reflectivity of a plume of surface matter
  • “Trail by Fire,” South American Andes – flux of SO2 from volcanoes
  • Yellowstone National Park – color of hot springs

Using Various Measurement Techniques 

Our customers have taken advantage of different technologies we offer and know-how we can provide to solve application problems.

Imagining What Comes Next 

Thanks to the skill and creativity of our customers, the modular spectroscopy Ocean Optics introduced 25 years ago has evolved beyond laboratory analysis and taken optical sensing to places we never could have imagined. We look forward to helping customers continue to realize amazing solutions using optical sensing technologies.