The University of Southampton

Celebrating world-leading research at the Hollow Core Fibre Partner Day

Published: 19 December 2022

Academics and industry partners came together in November to celebrate the outstanding results of the Airguide Photonics programme. With over 75 attendees, the researchers involved in the programme were able to share the important advances they have made, including achieving record low attenuation levels in hollow core fibres across the optical spectrum, novel optical fibre amplifiers providing high gain and low noise in less conventional wavebands, and new performance benchmarks in fibre lasers and laser power delivery.

David Richardson, the Principal Investigator of the Airguide Photonics programme, said: “It was fantastic to catch up with our Airguide and Lightpipe project partners, it has been almost 3 years since we last had the opportunity to do this in person and there we had many outstanding results to report.”

Throughout the day, there were various talks about the different areas of research from Co-Investigators, early career researchers and PhD students alike, all of whom have made fantastic contributions to the programme. In these talks, the industrial applications of the research were emphasised as much as the progress made in the research. For example, fibres from the project are now being delivered to various partners, such as DESY and CERN. It was made clear that this work has resulted in a plethora of exciting results in the areas of metrology, sensing and optical communications.

The day also featured a poster session from PhD students which provided a great networking opportunity where students were able to discuss their research with various industry partners and showcase their contributions to the programme. Amelia Lees, Research Professional for BT, said: “The Airguide Partner Day provided a valuable insight into the impressive research being done at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC). Hearing from senior academics and speaking with the PhD and post-doctoral students meant many interesting topics were showcased, leading to some valuable discussions.”

As the Airguide Photonics programme reaches a mature a stage in the programme, it has been recognised that the results it has produced are transformational; they have real-world applications that have the potential to transform the telecommunications industry. Professor Alwyn Seeds, Chairman of the Advisory Board, said: “The Airguide Programme Grant will have a profound influence on future communications networks, including the internet. The hollow core optical fibres developed within the ORC combine record breaking power handling and linearity, record breaking bandwidth and record breaking low loss. Taken together, these properties will revolutionise communications to a degree not seen since the first demonstrations of single mode optical fibre transmission in the 1970s.”

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