Applications: Imaging Detectors

Sydor Technologies provides custom, comprehensive solutions for high-speed imaging and diagnostics over a broad energy spectrum. Whether detecting a single photon, measuring and gating light levels on the order of hundreds of photons, acquiring images on the fastest timescales, or pulse dilating a signal for even faster acquisition with lower cost readout electronics—we offer the best solutions. We help you decide what works best among streak, framing, gated cameras, X-ray detector technology, image intensifiers, photomultipliers, photo diodes and more.

Some of the typical applications of our high speed streak cameras include:


Velocity interferometer system for any reflector (VISAR) is a key diagnostic in shock physics used for recording the shock velocity as a function of time. VISAR records the time evolution of the Doppler shift of a probe laser from an advancing, reflective, shock wave onto a streak camera, providing the user a temporally resolved record of the fringe shifts and shock wave velocity. Preferable characteristics of a streak camera used for VISAR include high spatial resolution and contrast measurements and a large photocathode.

April 2006 Progress Report on the Laboratory for Laser Energetics
Line-VISAR Diagnostic in the Gas-gun Community
Line-imaging velocimetry for observing spatially heterogeneous mechanical and chemical responses in plastic bonded explosives during impact


A streaked optical pyrometer (SOP) is a key diagnostic used in laser-driven shock experiments for HEDP (High Energy Density Physics) EOS (equation of state) experiments. A streak camera is used on SOP diagnostics to simultaneously record the space/time history of the material’s thermal self-emission from materials that are compressed by laser-driven shocks or ramp drives. Key characteristics of a streak camera used for SOP include high spatial and temporal resolution to provide a clear picture of the shock propagating through the material interfaces of the target sample. SOP and VISAR diagnostics are often used concurrently for laser-driven shock physics.

November 2011 Progress Report on the Laboratory for Laser Energetics
Absolute Calibration of the OMEGA Streaked Optical Pyrometer for Laser-Driven Shock Waves

Shock Physics

Shock Physics examines how material properties change under higher pressures, densities, and temperatures due to interacting with shock waves of different strengths. Understanding how materials change under these conditions has provided insight on various branches of science such as fusion research, planetary science, and explosives research. Two methods of studying shock wave physics are:

Laser-driven Shock Physics: Sydor ROSS streak cameras used on laser driven shock physics, typically occur on time scales of 100 ns or less. Examples of Laser-driven shock physics include working to achieve Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) through a set of precisely-timed shock waves, as well as a method for understanding materials to be used in designing hohlraum targets for ICF experiments.

Gas Gun Shock Physics: Sydor ROSS streak cameras used in Gas Gun Shock Physics applications have primarily be used on time scales of 100 ns to 10 µs. Gas guns can offer different strain rate and loading conditions than lasers, and can sustain pressures for much longer times than laser drives allowing Gas Guns to study a different set of phenomena than laser-driven shock physics—and alsoaided in the Stockpile Stewardship program.

Opacity and conductivity measurements in noble gases at conditions of planetary and stellar interiors
Velocity and Timing of Multiple Spherically Converging Shock Waves in Liquid Deuterium — R. Boehly, V. N. Goncharov, W. Seka, M. A. Barrios, P. M. Celliers, D. G. Hicks, G. W. Collins, S. X. Hu, J. A. Marozas, and D. D. Meyerhofer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 195005 – Published 13 May 2011

Time Resolved Spectroscopy

Streak cameras are often mated with spectrometers to examine time-resolved emission and absorption spectroscopy on fast-time scales. Examples of Sydor ROSS streak camera time-resolved spectroscopy systems include: hypergolic propellant ignition and combustion experiments; examining atomic shock emissions;, and emission spectroscopy of laser-launched flyer plates. Sydor Technologies has extensive experience in designing custom spectrometer interface modules that mates our ROSS streak cameras with spectrometers to create a light-tight interface and micrometer adjustment for ease of alignment and focusing. For dedicated streak spectroscopy systems, the Sydor ROSS streak camera systems are capable of direct coupling the streak camera to a spectrometer without the use of input optics.

Rotating Mirror Camera Replacement

Due to the limited film supply required by Rotating Mirror streak cameras and the chemicals necessary to process the data, many research facilities have been begun to look toward optical streak camera solutions. The requirements of these groups for high temporal- and spatial- resolution; large format photocathode; the ability to gate out unwanted pre- and post-shot light; and the ability to image a timing reference signal has made the ROSS 5100 and ROSS 5800 streak camera systems prime candidates as digital replacements for the rotating mirror systems.

Learn more about specific applications of Photek photo sensitive detectors:

Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM)
Image Intensifier Applications
Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)
Planar Laser Induced Flourescence (PLIF)
Ultra Violet Corona Detection