Intelligent Optical Systems

Company Background

Intelligent Optical Systems (IOS) is an innovative supplier of sensor, test and measurement solutions to industry, government and research markets with a principal position in physical, chemical, biological, radiological and remote sensing.  They are a provider of products for non-destructive testing and inspection using laser ultrasonics, non-lethal security and control systems using advanced optics, and distributed chemical sensors based on proprietary optical fibers. Their technology and product developments have received international acclaim, including selection to Time Magazine's "Best Inventions of 2007" feature.

Intelligent Optical Systems has locations in Torrance, CA and Pasadena, CA housing their state-of-the-art research laboratories, product manufacturing and assembly areas, product sales and corporate offices. IOS laboratories are dedicated to chemical, physical and radiological sensing, optical fiber sensor development, integrated optics, laser ultrasonics, advanced light sources, spectroscopy, biomedical and biochemical research, image analysis and instrument control. IOS was formerly managed by Physical Optics Corporation (2).

Strategic Partnerships

Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc. has established a wide customer base, successfully completing multi-million dollar projects for companies such as General Motors, Honeywell and Smiths Detection, and U.S. Government agencies including NASA, TSWG, NSF, NIH, EPA, the Departments of Energy, Homeland Security, Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force (1a).

Innovation and Technology

Intelligent Optical Solutions technologies span fiber optic-based sensors for pressure, temperature, electromagnetic fields, and a wide variety of chemicals; acoustic emission sensors; advanced signal and image processing systems; specialty light sources; nonlethal weapons; and nondestructive visual and laser ultrasonic inspection systems. IOS has a long and successful track record in the design and construction of advanced optical systems. Their capabilities in optical and mechanical simulation, design and precision fabrication, combined with advanced electronics and signal processing, form the basis for their successful product line.  IOS has extensive experience in the development of various optics-based chemical sensors and advanced monitoring instrumentation with intelligent decision making capabilities.  Their optochemical sensor research includes the development of applications and products using such technologies as localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) for bioassay, surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for identification and monitoring, terahertz spectroscopy for the standoff detection of hidden threats, and droplet based microfluidics for laboratory-on-a-chip automation of chemical and biochemical assays. The chemical sensor program utilizes a variety of nanotechnolgies to implement highly sensitive assay systems (1c).

IOS currently has five technologies at an advanced stage of development that have received national and international attention.

  • Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosis
  • Digital Aim
  • Nonlethal Countermeasures
  • Hydrogen Detection 
  • Distributed Intrinsic Chemical Agent Sensing and Transmission (DICAST®) technology (1c).


  • Laser Ultrasound: non-contact, non-destructive technique for performing ultrasonic evaluation on components and structures in environments where conventional transducer-based techniques are not an option.
  • Quantum Dots
  • eNose Aqua: designed specifically to sense contamination in refillable water bottles used in the Home Office Delivery (HOD) market. It utilizes advanced chemiresistor and nanocomposite sensor technology to provide consistently reliable performance under harsh real world factory conditions.
  • CyraNose: The instrument is first trained to recognize a series of chemical vapors or classes by creating a digital image or “smellprint” of each vapor. When challenged again with an unknown sample, the instrument digitizes and then compares this new smellprint to those stored in its memory.
  • Radiation Products: signal processing and sensor data fusion algorithms can improve the effectiveness of COTS radiation detectors by up to 40% (1b).

For more information, see the company's location page.


  1. Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc. (2012). Retrieved on October 29, 2012
    1. “About IOS” from
    2. “Products” from
    3. “Technologies” from
  2. Physical Optics Corporation. (2013). "Spinoffs." Retrieved on April 8, 2013 from