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AIM Photonics Announces DoD Project

Photonics.com
Apr 2017
ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 11, 2017 — The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), a public-private partnership to advance photonics manufacturing capabilities in the U.S., has announced a new U.S. Department of Defense project to help develop sensors for use in environmental monitoring, detection of chemical and biological weapons, disease diagnosis and food safety.

The $900,000 project, along with an additional $1.41 million in matching funds from AIM Photonics industrial members, will support a consortium of partners led by the University of Rochester that includes the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy Research Lab, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Analog Photonics LLC, the University of Tulsa, PhoeniX Software BV, the University of California-Santa Barbara and OndaVia Inc..

“Sensors represent the interface between the real world and data,” said Ben Miller, principal investigator of the project. “Developing a universal set of protocols to design, manufacture, modify and integrate sensors into photonics systems will not only advance this technology, but also present a tremendous economic opportunity — integrated photonics sensors represent a large and rapidly growing market, potentially reaching more than $15 billion globally by 2020.”

The project will focus on developing manufacturing blueprints for photonics-based transducers, the part of the sensor that interacts with what is being detected so that these components can be mixed and matched by manufacturers to build systems that identify a wide range of chemical or biological targets.

Individual photonics sensors can also be miniaturized and packed together in a small space, allowing for the creation of systems that can scan for multiple biological or chemical agents simultaneously. This approach could give rise to new technologies such as a “lab on a chip” that would allow researchers and clinicians to, for example, scan for several different proteins in a single blood sample or enable municipalities to continuously monitor drinking water for dangerous toxins.

“Integrated photonics is a key piece of the 21st century technology revolution,” said Michael Liehr, CEO of AIM Photonics. “Sensors enabled with the power of integrated photonics will play an integral part of our lives by greatly improving the quality of life for future generations. We are proud to partner with the Department of Defense, the University of Rochester and our industrial and academic members in the development of this critical technology.”

GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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