Competence Areas and Previous Projects

The company's wide expertise in electro optics allows us to undertake a wide range of research and development tasks. Our main areas of interest are, however, applications involving various spectroscopic techniques, the use of lasers, in particular diode lasers, and the use of digital cameras, both single line and two dimensional cameras.

Gas monitors for industrial applications

NEO has been a pioneer in developing gas monitoring instruments based on spectroscopic techniques utilising the unique spectral properties of tuneable diode lasers. This work has resulted in a completely new and unique range of gas monitoring instruments for a number of applications in industrial process and emission control. The single mode ( i.e. single frequency) characteristics of the diode laser makes it possible to measure the absorption of a particular gas using only one single absorption line, thus avoiding effectively the interference from other gases in the same gas volume, resulting in a highly accurate instrument capable of measuring very low concentration levels when required.

The new products have proved to be very competitive, both with respect to performance, reliability and cost, and they are now marketed on the international market by our former subsidiary, NEO Monitors, through reputable distributors working directly with the end customers with installation and commissioning as well as after sales services including calibration and preventative maintenance.

Underwater Optics

In the future exploration of the oil and gas resources in the North Sea we see that more and more of the necessary production equipment will be installed directly on the seabed, thus eliminating the need for the huge and extremely expensive oil rigs and platforms which up until now have been necessary. This is about to generate a growing need for remotely controlled inspection equipment.NEO has been involved in underwater optics since the mid. 1980`s. The pioneering work included demonstration of a gated viewing system based on a frequency doubled Nd:YAG Q-switched laser.




In the mid nineties we developed an underwater pipeline inspection system for external inspection of pipelines named Xplisit. The Xplisit system was based on digital line scan cameras and was mounted remotely operated vehicles.


A natural step from the Xplisit system was an internal pipeline inspection system based on the same principles, namely line scan cameras. The Simplisit system was a self contained unit comprising line scan cameras, laser illumination sources, storage media and batteries for prolonged operation. The Simplisit system has now been replaced by the next generation internal pipeline inspection tool, Optopig.


Optopig is an innovative new inspection system mainly for natural gas pipelines. The Optopig system gives both images and 3D information of the interior of a pipeline and can operate in pressures up to more than 200 bars.TileFish and LaserSharkTileFish and LaserShark are recent underwater imaging systems. TileFish is a LED based imaging system generating image tiles (mosaic) of the seabed and is designed for use on HUGIN AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles). More information on the TileFish system can be found here.LaserShark is a high performance laser based underwater imaging system giving both 3D data and grey level images of the seabed. It is optimised for use on AUVs (low power etc), but can also be used on ROVs. More information on the LaserShark technology can be found here.

Historical Space Related Activities

NEO has been actively engaged in space related projects since the late 1980`s. The work has included consulting work, feasibility studies, breadboarding and product development of sub-units and -systems for spaceborne instruments. The first major project was a feasibility study of a High Resolution Imaging Interferometer (HRII) for ESTEC, where NEO was the prime contractor. We have for some projects been working directly with ESTEC, whereas we in other projects have been partners with or subcontractors to major European Space Companies, such as DASA, Aerospatiale and Alenia. The most important projects are summarised below:

High Resolution Imaging Interferometer (HRII)

Feasibility study resulting in a proposed Imaging Interferometer meeting all basic specifications and requirements.

High Spectral Resolution Sounder (HSRS)

Feasibility study made by Aerospatiale as prime with NEO and Officine Galileo as subcontractors.

Diode Pumped Nd:YAG laser for spaceborne applications

This project was done with Alenia as prime with NEO, ENOSA, Thomson Hybrides and Quantel as subcontractors. NEOs task was to study critical technologies and do the necessary breadboarding.

Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS)

Due to NEOs long experience in working with long range IR detectors NEO was tasked by DASA to assist in the assessment, verification and selection of the infrared detectors for MIPAS.

Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS)

Following the successful selection of IR detectors for MIPAS NEO was selected to develop the frequency reference source (ODS) for MIPAS, based on the use of a frequency stabilised diode laser operating at a wavelength of 1300 nm. NEO performed all breadboarding and product development, and has in addition participated in the detailed design as well as in test and verification of the Engineering and Flight Models.

Hyperspectral Imager for Small Satellites (HISS)

NEO was in December 1995 tasked by ESTEC to carry out a Definition Study of a Hyperspectral Imager for Small Satellites (HISS). The final report was completed as planned in February 1997. HISS is an imaging interferometer measuring the ground reflectance with a spectral resolution of approx. 10 nm in the visible and short wave infrared (450 - 2350nm). The aim of the study is to establish instrument feasibility, a preliminary instrument design, and finally a proposed development plan leading to a Flight Model of the selected baseline. The study includes assessment, trade-off studies and selection of spectrometers, collecting optics, focal plane assemblies including detectors and thermal controls, signal conditioning and processing electronics, data handling, calibration devices etc.

Airborne Spectral Imager

As a continuation of the HISS work, the development of the Airborne Spectral Imager (ASI) was started. The ASI system is based on a hyperspectral camera which covers the wavelength range from 400 nm to 2300 nm (VNIR and SWIR).Research is ongoing in co-operation with other research groups in the field of forestry, agriculture, archaeology, environmental monitoring as well as military surveillance.

The same hyperspectral camera system is currently being used as a research tool also for ground based activities like food quality control and industrial inspection.