Gooch & Housego’s (G&H) Fiber-Q has been presented at the Houses of Parliament, London, on 27 November as part of an Institute of Physics Innovation Award exhibition. The Fiber-Q was given the IOP Award for innovation in October and was presented to members of both Houses at an event hosted by Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Minister for Intellectual Property, Lady Audrey Wood, co-founder and former director of Oxford Instruments, and Dr Frances Saunders, IOP president.
When speaking to Laser Systems Europe, Adrian Chance, marketing and communications manager at G&H, said: ‘Hopefully, the members of the Houses will get some insight into the industry in general but in particular, photonics. Photonics is an enabling technology; we have a very broad base of applications with all of our products and we operate in a range of markets, sub-markets and even niches within those. This is an opportunity for us to educate the members, and the other dignitaries in attendance, just how enabling it is.’
He continued: ‘The Fiber-Q in particular is an example of this. It has taken one technology and transferred it to another, enabling fibre systems to be more flexible and cost effective and it’s brought that technology to the forefront. So the day should allow the people in government to see this.’
Fibre laser systems offer a low cost and low maintenance option for applications such as lidar and materials processing. G&H’s award winning Fiber-Q brought the flexibility of acousto-optics to the fibre optic community while maintaining the benefits offered by a fibre-based system. The company manufactures fibre coupled acousto-optic modulator devices for lasers with wavelengths from 400-2,000nm. Conventionally, amplitude modulation was done by using a master oscillator power amplifier requiring a separate semiconductor laser amplifier seed; this can narrow the choice of available pulse forms. The acousto-optic modulation provides a simpler system that gives a more flexible choice of pulse forms while also reducing cost.
Adrian Norman, engineering director at G&H Torquay, commented: ‘The Fiber-Q project has been both a commercial and technological success for G&H. New manufacturing techniques have been developed to meet the challenges presented by the Fiber-Q. Processes and designs to tolerate high optical powers and precision fibre alignment techniques have been developed. G&H is continuing to progress this technology and is broadening the Fiber-Q product portfolio’.