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Southampton's ORC to Lead £6.1M Fiber Optic Program

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2018
SOUTHAMPTON, England — The University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Center (ORC) is set to lead a £6.1 million ($7.3 million) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-funded program to develop the next generation of fiber optics.

The AirGuide Photonics project brings together 25 research organizations and industry partners to transform future fiber networks and generate enormous potential for a multitude of uses ranging from a faster more responsive internet, through space exploration, to laser based manufacturing and bioengineering.

The new program will investigate and explore the performance limits of hollow-core fiber technology. It will also develop innovative means of manufacturing and reliable methods of interconnecting the new optical fibers to other more conventional fiber types, as well as other optical components such as lasers.

To maximize the impact of the research the program will also develop and demonstrate bespoke application-specific fibers based on the project partners particular interests and will work with the partners to demonstrate real world uses of the technology that will serve to showcase its unique and enabling properties.

“The ORC has been at the forefront of photonics for over 40 years,” said professor David Richardson, program lead for AirGuide Photonics and deputy director of ORC. “Our new AirGuide Photonics program will continue to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with optical fibers and develop a disruptive technology that puts the U.K. at the forefront of optical technology.”

“The ORC has been pioneering the development of fiber optics and advancing communications technology for many years and has an impressive record of using research funding to collaborate with academic and industry partners,” said professor Tom Rodden, deputy chief executive of EPSRC. “EPSRC has consistently supported research at the ORC and the new AirGuide Photonics program promises to push at the boundaries once more. We are confident that the research will uncover more discoveries and lead to world-leading innovations.”

BusinessUniversity of SouthamptonOptoelectronics Research CenterORCEPSRCfiberopticsAirguide PhotonicsEuropeFiber Optics Special Section

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