Gooch & Housego has announced that a project in which it is the lead partner has been selected for funding by the UK government-backed Technology Strategy Board in the recent call for proposals on 'Technology Inspired Collaborative Research and Development'.
The £920,000 project, called MUDPAC (Maintaining UK Dominance in Polarisation mAintaining Components) was conceived by Dr Andrew Robertson, G&H senior vice president of business and technology development and was aimed squarely at the 'High Value Manufacturing' area of the Technology Strategy Board call. The two other partners involved are optical fibre manufacturer Fibercore and fibre laser manufacturer Fianium, both located in Southampton.
Dr Robertson explained: 'This project brings together three UK companies recognised as being world leaders in their respective fields – we fit together perfectly. During this project, we will be developing two areas of production technology; optical fibre and polarisation maintaining (PM) optical fibre components. Each of these areas will yield a family of high value advanced products with entirely novel features and both areas will require the development of novel production processes and process control.'
The manufacture of polarisation maintaining (PM) optical fibre components poses unique manufacturing problems and in general, their performance, both optically and environmentally is poorer than more standard single mode non-PM components. A key factor to the success of the project will be the holistic approach of G&H Torquay, as the fibre optic component manufacturer, working closely with Fibercore, the fibre manufacturer, to design a fibre with optimum characteristics for enhanced component performance.