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Army testing new Sydor unit

A new imaging system created at Sydor Instruments LLC could affect the way the military designs protective armor or constructs bulletproof glass.
Sydor Instruments unveiled its ballistics imaging system at a defense conference in Orlando, Fla.
The Chili-based firm, whose products are aimed at slowing fast-moving events, began designing the system after the U.S. Army asked the firm to work on the project with diagnostic imaging technology the military had been working on. Included in the system is a commercial, off-the-shelf machine vision camera.
The system can determine the velocity and trajectory of a bullet, including the tilt of the bullet on impact.
Sydor Instruments CEO Michael Pavia said the imaging system-an alternative to high-speed video-could benefit military personnel, since it can determine a bullet’s point of impact and the underlying mechanisms of how it got there.
"This system specializes in high-speed imaging," Pavia said. "It can freeze the bullet at a moment in time."
The military is testing the two imaging systems Sydor Instruments has made and will see how each performs over the next three to six months.
The ballistic imaging technology could be used in other applications, notably the biomedical market, Pavia said.
Sydor Instruments, a division of Sydor Optics Inc., manufactures ultrafast imaging systems. It was founded in 2004 to commercialize technology licensed from the University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics. The result was a self-calibrating streak camera, dubbed Ross, short for Rochester Optical Streak System, which can provide a snapshot in less than a billionth of a second.
Sydor Instruments has roughly a dozen workers, and Pavia said it expects to add five to 10 more over the next three years.
He declined to disclose sales for the privately held firm but said revenue has more than doubled over the past three years. Roughly 80 percent of Sydor Instruments’ sales are in the energy and defense sectors. The remaining 20 percent come from the biomedical market.
Company growth has led to a need for more space. Sydor recently purchased a 16,000-square-foot facility on Millstead Way and plans to invest nearly $260,000 to renovate and equip the space. Sydor has been approved for incentives by the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency.
The move will allow Sydor Instruments to expand at its own site there, while the current location on Jetview Drive will be filled by Sydor Optics, Pavia said.
In addition to the military, Sydor Instruments is working with Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, one of 10 national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science in the U.S. Department of Energy.
Sydor Instruments has received federal funding through the Small Business Innovation and Research program to develop equipment for use at Brookhaven, which conducts research in physical, biomedical and environmental sciences as well as in energy technologies and national security.
"They require a lot of diagnostic and imaging equipment," Pavia said of Brookhaven. "That could lead to additional growth for us."

5/13/11 (c) 2011 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.


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