non-destructive testing
Extreme Diagnostics evolves to deal with post-9/11 realities. Our Autonomous Health Sensor (AHS) will be a portable, non-invasive testing system that remotely scans and monitors at-risk aerospace transports, dams, bridges, roadways and buildings.

running tests
in zero gravity

NASA asked us to design and build a way to measure how fluids behave in space. Then we climbed aboard their zero-G simulation aircraft to test it.

robot subs

We outfitted robotic submarines to collect coastal dynamics data off Florida's Gulf Coast, and set up a way to control them from our lab in Boulder, Colorado.

R&D lab
in a suitcase

NASA needed a way to monitor protein crystals growing on board the International Space Station. We developed a custom lab—and fit it all into a ruggedized, portable unit.



An R&D lab small enough
to fit in a Space Shuttle glovebox.

Our custom laboratory passes laser light through transparent objects that fit the sample holder. It records digital holograms of the test object and passes them to a computer. There we compare the holograms, one to another, and calculate minute differences between them in terms of slight delays, advances, and modulations in the laser wave-front. These minute differences represent changes occurring in between holographic recordings — changes in fluid concentration, temperature — anything that would locally perturb the sample density and its refractive index. Our near-spaceflight unit measures fluid concentration changes down to 0.01% over distances of only 1 mm. With more fluid, the accuracy is even better. This portable unit fits in an aircraft carryon, weighs about 40 pounds, and is rugged enough to transport from city to city and be ready for immediate use.

The software features a host of analysis tools and user aids, such as pseudocolor, three-dimensional data representation, two-dimensional xy profile slices, and numerical readout. The entire package was refined at the University of Colorado BioServe Space Technologies research center, where scientists worked with our system for two years to analyze protein crystal growth and bacterial life sciences experiments.

Technical details:

Owen, R. B., A. A. Zozulya, M. R. Benoit and D. M. Klaus, "Microgravity materials and life sciences research applications of digital holography," Appl. Opt. 41: 3927-35 (2002).

Owen, R. B. and A. A. Zozulya, "Comparative study using double-exposure digital holography and a Shack-Hartmann sensor to characterize transparent materials," Appl. Opt. 41(28) 2002.