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  • M Squared Lasers, Fraunhofer Team for Environmental Monitoring
May 2013
GLASGOW, Scotland, May 27, 2013 — Laser source manufacturer M Squared Lasers Ltd. has launched a research partnership with the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP) to improve environmental monitoring of waste gas emissions. The project is co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board.

Fraunhofer CAP, a hub of industry-driven laser research and technology, began operating at the University of Strathclyde’s new Technology and Innovation Centre last month (See: Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics Officially Opens). It is the first Fraunhofer research center in the UK.

The collaborative project, Synoposis, will focus on how lasers can be used to more easily detect a broader range of potentially hazardous emissions coming from landfill sites, chemical processes and industrial plants.

Current technology is not able to access the full range of IR wavelengths, which are known to be rich in so-called molecular fingerprints — telltale absorption features that can identify a variety of substances. M Squared’s tunable IR light sources could expand the range, providing benefits for environmental monitoring applications.

“This partnership is a great example of how academia and industry can work together to provide technology which has real-world benefit,” said Dr. Graeme Malcolm, chief executive of M Squared, who attended the Glasgow launch of Fraunhofer CAP in April. “At the moment, scanning for these substances is a bit like having only one radio station tuned into your stereo — we need to find what else is out there, and that means increasing the range of frequencies we are able to scan.

“Environmental monitoring is an increasingly important field for a very broad range of industries and organizations. We hope this research will ultimately yield the kind of laser technology which can provide fast, accurate and reliable data about waste gas emissions to improve environmental and commercial performance.”

The Fraunhofer partnership will provide M Squared with access to additional resources and research capabilities, which otherwise would require a substantial financial investment.

“This is one of the first projects started in the newly established Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics in Glasgow,” said Tim Holt, executive director of Fraunhofer UK Research. “It is an exciting start and a perfect example of how we will work with companies seeking to innovate their products and processes.”

Another Fraunhofer CAP was launched last week at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London.

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