Laser Guide Star Alliance Wins Leibinger Innovation Prize
DITZINGEN, Germany, Sept. 14, 2016 — The Laser Guide Star Alliance, the development team led by Domenico Bonaccini Calia, Wilhelm Kaenders and Wallace Clements at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Garching, Germany, along with Toptica Photonics AG in Gräfelfing, Germany, and MPB Communications Inc. in Montreal, received third place in the 2016 Berthold Leibinger Innovation Prize.
The team developed and patented an essential foundation of a new beam source technology for the Very Large Telescope based in the Chilean Atacama Desert. Using Raman amplification, they generated the required wavelength with diode and fiber lasers, providing performance significantly higher than 20 W. The technology took eight years to develop.
In April, four of the radiation sources were mounted and used on the telescope. Uses for the technology also include the tracking of satellites, atomic spectroscopy and photonic imaging.
The Berthold Leibinger Innovations Prize honors scientists and developers who make advancements in the field of laser technology. Since 2000, the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung has given the award every two years for excellent research and development work on the application or generation of laser light.
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