4/23/2007 -- Infrared Scientist GREG MATIS appears with Cardiac Surgery Appliance maker RAY BERTOLERO. SEGMENT 1 of 5
RAY BERTOLERO is the Vice President of ESTECH Cardiac Surgery Specialists of San Ramon, California. Estech makes dozens of products used daily by surgeons around the world. Take a listen as he tells us about their EXCITING new BREAKTHRU CURES for Stage 3 heart failure and Atrial Fibrilation!!! http://www.estech.com/
Wayne B. Norris: Hi and welcome to the 33rd show of Business and Technology on AM 1290, the Santa Barbara News Press radio station, over the airwaves and streaming on the Internet at http://www.newspress.com. We’re live at 2:00 p.m. Mondays and rebroadcast at 10:00 p.m. Mondays and 2:00 p.m. Sundays; all times West Coast. I’m your host, Wayne B. Norris.
I have two very interesting guests with me today. Greg Matis is a senior scientist for Santa Barbara Infrared Incorporated for the last five years. He’s working on advanced electro-optical laser and infrared test sets, radiometry and dynamic infrared scene projection. Santa Barbara Infrared is a world leader supplying standard and custom equipment for FLIR testing [forward-looking infrared], IR detector testing, IR simulation, and IR invisible and laser site – laser boresight testing. And if there are any of you old SBRC common moduleers out there, I hope you’re listening because we’ve got a lot to talk about in IR.
After the break, we’re gonna hear from Ray Bertolero. He’s the vice president of Estech Cardiac Surgery Specialists of San Ramon, California and he’s calling in from Northern California. Estech makes dozens of products that are used daily by surgeons around the world.
Today’s show is brought to you by my buddy, Dr. Walter Dukes, the Mesa dentist who’ll give you the smile of your life, by BOSSdev Incorporated, computer system integrators and custom software developers, and by DefenderTech International Solutions, Inc., provider of security products for a safer world. And DefenderTech is proud to announce that it now represents the powerful line of ThruVision™ terahertz security cameras that can detect hidden weapons up to 30 feet away hidden under clothing and without violating privacy.
If any of you in the listening audience have any questions you’d like to ask either Greg or Ray, the number is 564-1290 locally and 866‑564‑1290 anywhere in the U.S. And you can visit the Business and Technology Show Web site at business‑and‑technology.com – that’s spelled with hyphens – for more interesting aspects of all of our guests as well as archives of all past shows.
And finally, before I start, I want to mention one of my two favorite local science and technology groups. The Santa Barbara Science and Engineering Council, also known as the Science for Lunch Bunch, meets monthly at noon on the second Thursday of each month at the Elephant Bar. That’s out at the airport in Goleta. They have great speakers, and anyone can come hear them. You can link to their Web site, http://www.scieng.org, from this show’s Web site.
So Greg, tell us about Santa Barbara Infrared.
Greg Matis: Well, thanks for having me on the show. Santa Barbara Infrared was founded in 1986 by two Santa Barbarans, and it was later acquired by HEICO in 1999. Now, HEICO is listed on the New York Stock Exchange as HEI. They’re based in Hollywood, Florida, and they do about – annual net sales around, maybe, $400 million. So, yeah, so HEICO –
Wayne B. Norris: Ooh, small company, huh?
Greg Matis: Yeah, small company. J So HEICO primarily started as a manufacturer of replacement parts and services, for jet engines in the airline transportation market, so they acquired SBIR, and we’re part of their electronics technology group, which is about 25 percent of their net sales, and our primary services that we provide to the IR testing community are standard and custom instrumentation, as you had mentioned, for infrared detector testing, IR simulation and geometric-type tests such as sensor boresighting. We do that for a number of types of sensors, visible through laser.
Wayne B. Norris: Now tell me about boresight. I know boresight from microwave antennas, radars and things. What is boresight testing with infrared?
Greg Matis: Okay, typically, when one builds a system, one is usually trying to align the actual infrared field of view and line of sight to what you want to be actually looking at, so it’s very important to geometrically find a way, essentially by setting up an object at some given distance or through a stimulus testing to evaluate the full field of view of the sensor and also how it’s aligned to some reference. So in this case, it may be a tube or it could be a common aligned visible system. This way you don’t have the Marty Feldman problem, where one sensor is looking off to the right and the other one’s looking off to the left, and you’re not exactly sure what you’re staring at.
Wayne B. Norris: Yeah. He sure made a career out of that, didn’t he?
Greg Matis: That is correct.
Wayne B. Norris: He was in what? Young – no, not Young Einstein. What was it? What was that movie? I’ve seen him in so many I can’t remember.
Greg Matis: Yeah, quite a sight.
Wayne B. Norris: All right, but now are these mostly for things like radar systems?
Greg Matis: These are mostly used for infrared camera and imaging systems. Probably a good thing to kinda take a look at is everybody’s familiar with the visible video camera, the ubiquitous camera phone, and these, of course, are visible sensors that basically respond to a very narrow spectrum that our eyes have also evolved to see and everybody’s used to, you know, sending pictures around on YouTube and things of this sort. So infrared cameras and sensors are becoming much more available to the commercial and industrial markets. Historically, these devices were used by the military defense sector because they had a very high system cost of ownership.
Wayne B. Norris: Yeah, they sure did. They paid my salary for a couple of years.
Greg Matis: That’s right.
Wayne B. Norris: I wasn’t cheap.
Greg Matis: So new generations of these sensors, which are called “staring sensors”, tend to emulate very much what a CCD is, and this is basically a series of pixels that are aligned, and this material system is based on platinum silicide and InSb, which is indium antimonide.
Wayne B. Norris: Wait, wait, wait. Platinum silicide?
Greg Matis: That’s correct.
Wayne B. Norris: Is that new?
Greg Matis: No, it’s old.
Wayne B. Norris: Is it really?
Greg Matis: Yeah.
Wayne B. Norris: Boy, ’cause we used indium antimonide a lot and MercCad Telluride.
Greg Matis: That’s right. Now, MercCad always had an issue, where it was a very, very good sensor material, but it was also very expensive to actually make and get very good uniformity, and now there’s processes that have been worked over, let’s say, the last 20 years, have greatly improved these characteristics. But in the early days, where the costs of manufacture really dropped were on these two sensor materials and indium antimonide, which is – a local company, Indigo or FLIR, tends to have a very strong presence in this particular market. And these sensors typically have a sensitivity range that’s what we call in the midwave band, or in this case, 3 to 5 microns. If you compare that to the physical band, which is typically about 0.55 microns, you can see that it’s a little bit further out in the infrared, and therefore allows you to see many interesting characteristics.
Wayne B. Norris: All right, well, now 3 to 5. How – that – you couldn’t see a human walking around in the desert at night, but you could certainly a soldering iron, right?
Greg Matis: Actually, the sensitivity of these devices has gone to the point where, let’s say, terrestrial objects – this would be things that basically have some metabolism, some base temperature, let’s say above, let’s say, 20 degrees C – are very visible especially, even in the midwave.
Wayne B. Norris: Really? At 3 to 5 microns.
Greg Matis: That’s correct.
Wayne B. Norris: Wow!
Greg Matis: Now, 3 to 5 has a much higher sensitivity to hotter objects. This would be like engines and exhausts, things – might be familiar to people, let’s say, around a petroleum plant or with vehicles but it’s become essentially the sensor of choice, both from a cost standpoint, as well as a geometric or spatial sensitivity for looking in surveillance applications.
Wayne B. Norris: Now, what kinds of – now you’re saying that the military is really not dominating this market anymore?
Greg Matis: They still obviously pay the bills for most of the initial research, especially for some of the large or focal planes. Very usable infrared imaging solutions have been basically traditionally used in navigation, tracking, targeting and surveillance, which all kinda fall into the “military realm,” but these are also growing in the commercial sector in bigger ways to support homeland security, law enforcement, border patrol functions, especially with the use of UAVs, which are these remote flying vehicles, as well as remote sensors. You place them basically unattended, and they basically view a certain area.
Wayne B. Norris: Okay. Now we’re gonna come up on a break here. Radio is a pretty fast medium. Believe it or not, we’re almost done with the first segment but when we come back, I want to find out whether I could use indium antimonide in my back yard at night without illumination under a cloudy sky to find out when there is a skunk prowling around so that if I know that it’s a skunk out there, I can keep my dog from going out and tangling with it and coming in and stinking to high heaven. So we’ll be right back after these messages. We’re talking to Greg Matis. He’s the vice president of Santa Barbara Infrared. The show is Business and Technology. Stay with us.