Welcome to Visidyne!


Image of Typhoon Noru from Orbit

1 August 2017

Credit: NASA/ISS


Visidyne, Inc. - Developer of SAM Sensor, NORSE, and TCIMS (Tropical Cyclone Intensity Measurement System)

(SAMNET data archives are located here: ftp://ftp.visidyne.com/Samnet/)

Visidyne Inc. is a broad-based R&D company that specializes in E O sensor hardware and software. 


SAM is Visidyne's ground-based sensor that simultaneously measures the optical depth (OD) of clouds and the forward scattering (FS) properties of their particles.

NORSE is the DoD standard nuclear optical/radar effects code.

TCIMS is under development, and is being designed to be a low-earth-orbit, space-based, passive system for measuring the intensity of Category 2 through 5 tropical cyclones.


Visidyne History

Visidyne Inc. (VI) was established in 1969. Its expertise was in atmospheric sciences (theoretical modeling and laboratory and field measurements) and in modeling optical and infrared nuclear weapons effects. In 1991, VI acquired the senior technical staff of the nuclear group of Physical Research, Inc. that increased the atmospheric modeling capability and provided expertise in nuclear effects on radar systems. In 1997 Visidyne gained extensive laser remote sensing through merger with PhotoMetrics, Inc. Today Visidyne’s focus is on Electro-optics and Atmospheric Measurements and Modeling but it retains its involvement in the nuclear weapons effects modeling for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

The Corporation is headquartered in Burlington, MA with facilities in Santa Barbara CA, Huntsville AL, and Anacortes WA. Visidyne has an experienced management team that includes Drs Jack Carpenter, AT Stair, and Gil Davidson. Visidyne is privately held with about 50 employees. Over 70% of staff is technical including 13 PhDs. Numerous patents have been issued to its scientists and engineers and assigned to Visidyne.

         Visidyne’s Research & Development activities are focused around core competencies in application of optical sensing and measurement technology and remote characterization of atmospheric phenomena. These efforts serve both government and commercial markets. Two main areas are optical metrology and engineering and sensor development include the following expertise:

Optical metrology


Engineering design and sensor development

Many sensors and applications that Visidyne Inc. has developed are based on the unique optical phase measurement techniques that Visidyne has perfected that allows for a precision of one part per billion in the comparative phase between two or more electromagnetic signals.

Below is a brief description of a few representative VI projects and products.


Cloud Characterization for Remote Sensing

SAM Sensor


AM is a unique, patented instrument that simultaneously measures the radiance of the solar disk and the associated aureole resulting from the passage of solar radiation through atmospheric aerosols and clouds. The radiance of the solar disk measures the cloud optical depth. This is one of the two most important optical measures of cloud radiative effects.  The aureole measurements made simultaneously by SAM yields information on the Forward Scattering of the sunlight that is defined by the ice/water composition of the cloud along the line of sight and, as such, SAM is important for understanding cloud transmissive effects as well as particle size and ice content of cirriform clouds. SAM is accompanied by a sophisticated modeling software package that provides characterization of atmospheric conditions.

Applications: Remote sensing, cloud characterization, weather and climate studies.


Optical Phase Measurements

Monocular 3-D Imaging


monocular imager that is capable of generating 3-D imaging at the sub-millimeter level has been invented and is under development by Visidyne as a prototype for a NASA optical hazard landing system. The underlying patented technologies provide for a system of medium and high-powered, infrared systems that illuminate a scene with intensity modulated light at frequencies up to 10 MHz.  This yields an image of the scene and provides a time/distance scale that a specialized CCD chip converts the received backscatter light into a base band signal to generate range and intensity values for each pixel. In addition a 1.2Kw illuminator was designed and built for hi-power, long-range illumination. 

Applications: Landing system, industrial inspection, medical applications, facial recognition, identification of military targets for kinetic hit-to-kill interceptors and targets under difficult conditions of low contrast, partially obscured, and/or behind foliage.


Hyper Dense Wavelength Multiplexing (HDWM)

HDWM expands the use of available fiberoptic cable by multiplexing any of the existing multi-color channels by a factor of as much as two orders of magnitude.  Since the HDWM system is highly linear there is no crosstalk between these channels and this allows for a much more efficient use of the cables already installed in metropolitan areas.

    The underlying technology of this approach makes use of phase modulation as contrasted to intensity modulation.  The attributes of this technological approach are that it decreases the noise figure, increases the available bandwidth, reduces the distortion of amplification, and is not subject to crosstalk between the channels.  The approach uses an optical phase diversity receiver


Applications: This technology is appropriate for both DoD and commercial applications.  For DoD platforms it provides distribution of sensor/control data, redundant fiber links to and from multiple locations, and chip-scale hyper-dense frequency division multiplexing.  The technology is flexible and permits mixed analog and digital signals without interference.  It allows programmable signal-to-noise/bandwidth and bit rate/bandwidth products. The channels are available fulltime and require no time-division multiplexing.

    For the metropolitan-area fiber-optic distribution networks, even though there are already many multi-color channels, there will be a need to increase the number of discrete channels as the usage demands increase.  The high-fidelity nature of this approach will increase each optical channel's usage and will permit as much as a hundred-fold increase in the aggregate data rate in each of the existing channels.

    A patent protecting this technology has been issued and a proof of concept has been demonstrated by a recognized organization.



Instrumentation & Systems Developed by Visidyne

Space Instrumentation X-Ray Instrumentation
Space Particle Imager for Space Debris Measurements Rocketborne Bremsstrahlung X-Ray Detector
MSX Xenon Lamp Particulate Monitor X-Ray Microscope Optics
MSX Krypton Lamp Radiometer Water Vapor Monitor X-Ray Telescope Optics
Lidar Systems Particle Instrumentation
Portable Eye Safe Targeting/Tracking Lidar Rocketborne Retarding Potential Analyzers for Measurements of Vehicle Potentials
Balloonborne Multiwavelength Incoherent Lidar - (ABLE) Rocketborne Electrostatic Analyzers for Measurements of Artificial and Natural Aurora
Balloonborne Coherent CO2 Lidar Rocketborne Electron Accelerators for Upper Atmospheric Excitation
Sounding Rocket Lidar System Alpha Detectors
Infrared Instrumentation Vapor Releases
Balloonborne LWIR Radiometer System Water Vapor Release Module
SWIR Imager and Interferometer for Groundbased STS Plume Measurements Uranium Vapor Release Module
Airborne Target Discrimination Imager for Optical Clutter Suppression
Groundbased Background Optical Suppression Dual Beam SWIR Interferometer System Balloon Payloads
Airborne SWIR Scanning Imager Balloonborne Payload System for Precise Pointing of IR Sensors - BAMM
Balloonborne Lidar for Atmospheric Rayleigh, Mie and Raman Measurements - ABLE I, II, III
Visible Instrumentation Balloonborne Payloads with Precision Pointing and Tracking for UV-Visible Sensors – KESTREL
Rocketborne Visible Spectrometers for Measurements of Artificial Aurora Balloonborne CO2 Coherent Lidar
Rocketborne Photometers for Measurements of Artificial and Natural Aurora  
Rocketborne Scanning Photometer for  Measurements of Artificial Aurora  
VUV/UV Instrumentation  
Rocketborne UV Spectrometers for Measurements of Artificial and Natural Aurora  
Rocketborne UV Photometers for Measurements of Artificial and Natural Aurora  
Rocketborne and Laboratory VUV Photoelectron Spectrometers


Rocketborne VUV Image Scanner  
Rocketborne VUV Ionization Detector  
Rocketborne VUV Photometers  


Computer Code Development






Computes RF and IR operability in a nuclear disturbed environment






Spatial and Spectral Tracking of ENVAR Signals




Signal Association Using Envelope Coherence




Simulation-Level Nuclear Environments for Infrared and Radar Sensors




Heated Gas Emissivities and Opacities




Strategic Scene Generation Model




Simulator for Nuclear Scene Generation




Phenomenology Engagement Module – A Fast NORSE Derivative




Nuclear Optical and Radar Systems Effects Code




Radar and Optical Systems Code




Nuclear-Induced IR Emissions Code for Air Force Systems




Prediction of Polyatomic, Elevated Temperature and Pressure, Line Positions and Strengths




System Evaluation of Effects of IR Backgrounds and Clutter




Updated Version of TACTIR




Nuclear Burst Emission Seen Through the Atmosphere for Tactical Applications




Visible and Nuclear Induced Emission Code




Non-equilibrium Atmospheric Limb IR Emission Code




Satellite System Simulation Code




Nuclear Simulation Code for Use in Satellite System Predictions




First Version of High Resolution, Line-by-Line Atmospheric Transmission and Emission Code




First Version of the Standard Lower Resolution Atmospheric Transmission Code (Part of OPTIR)




First Optical/Infrared Nuclear Prediction Code

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Updated: March 28, 2019