UCF to Explore Fiber Lasers under $5.9M Air Force Contract
ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 21, 2015 — Researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) will develop concepts for high-power fiber lasers under a five-year, $5.87 million contract from the U.S. Air Force.
"We need to redesign the fiber from a simple communications fiber to one that is able to withstand the high power we want to generate," said primary investigator and professor Martin Richardson.
The contract will promote collaborative research on fiber lasers and optical fiber development between UCF, the University of Southampton in England and the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany.
Fiber lasers, which are generated and contained inside the small core of fiber, are different from typical lasers, which bounce light between mirrors. Richardson said applications for the next-generation fiber lasers are in the fields of industry, defense and medicine.
The Air Force awarded UCF an $870,400 grant last year for purchase of a lathe for advanced fiber fabrication.
Richardson is founding director of UCF's Townes Laser Institute and is a senior science advisor to the U.S. Department of State under a Jefferson Science Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences.
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