Optical choppers are the devices or equipment utilized to vary and interrupt light beams at regular or fixed time intervals. By deploying variations in the frequency of the optical chopper, the frequency of the light can be respectively varied. Invented in the mid-1800s, the optical chopper was used to measure the speed of light. The optical chopper contains a circular metal disc possessing holes and gaps at regular or irregular intervals which is attached to a rotating motor which rotates at a certain speed. The light beam passes through this optical chopper and in turn through these holes and thus the frequency of the light can be calculated using the frequency of the optical chopper. The optical chopper finds its main advantage in achieving a regular frequency of light beam. Optical choppers can be either operated by mechanical or electronic means. Predominantly used technologies for optical choppers are rotating disk, tuning fork and optical shutters.
On the basis of geography the optical choppers market can be segmented as North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Middle East and Africa. Application of optical choppers is extensively found in optical spectrometers, wheel speed sensors, ion neutron beam instruments, intensity modulation of optical signals and anti-lock braking systems. Optical choppers are available in various specifications and types as variable frequency rotating disc chopper, fixed frequency tuning fork and shutter.
Rotating disc choppers are widely utilized in laboratories and research institutions where chopping frequency is fixed by operator or user and size of aperture is large when compared with other devices. Tuning fork optical choppers are designed to operate at fixed frequency, smaller aperture size and at high frequency. Optical shutters are preferred for low frequency chopping applications, these type of optical choppers allow the operator to follow varying or arbitrary patterns of chopping.
Optical choppers are extensively used in electronics products such as television sets for controlling the color of pixels on screen, signaling lamps, camera, movie projectors, signal detection and recovery and other equipment. Depending upon the requirement and extent of accuracy required the optical choppers find their wide use in industries, scientific research, aerospace, healthcare and military applications.
Widening application area of the optical choppers are amplifying the growth of global optical chopper market. Expanding demands for high tech cardio machines in the hospitals, anti-lock braking systems, movie projectors etc. are creating a big opportunity for the global optical choppers market. Moreover, technological advancements in machine vision and imaging coupled with increasing demand for advanced equipment in research institutions is likely to drive growth in optical chopper market globally during the forecast period.
Some of the minor restraints identified in the optical chopper market are linked with technological limitations such as distortion in frequency measurements due to presence of moving parts and thus giving rise to machine vibration and mechanical wear and tear.
Some of the major market participants involved in the manufacturing of optical choppers are Altechna, SRS, McPherson, Hinds Instruments, Scitec Instruments, Thor Labs, New Focus, Edmund Optics, Newport Corporation, Boston Electronics Corporation etc.
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