Photonics application project could benefit the food industry
Aston University is poised to develop new applications of optical frequency technology that could benefit the food industry, as well as other industries.
Based at the University’s Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT), the project will explore new optical frequency comb (OFC) technology, which is a special type of light that acts as a precise optical ruler to measure frequencies exact light.
The University of Aston team, led by Professor Sergei Turitsyn, Director of the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, will develop new advanced OFC technologies and explore the feasibility of the developed methods in several areas of major practical importance. For example, in the food supply chain and agricultural technology, they can be used to prevent contamination by detecting toxic or harmful substances.
Other applications of OFC technologies include high-speed optical communications, outdoor greenhouse gas concentration monitoring, gas concentrations in industrial environments, optical sensing, and many other applications in many industrial sectors.
This project is in partnership with two French universities, the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis and the University of Lille. Its ambitious goal is to revolutionize high-speed, high-resolution spectroscopy by developing a new family of light sources with improved robustness, performance and versatility to enable wider adoption in a wide range of different fields.
The project aims to overcome barriers to existing technology and develop new advanced methods with a research program ranging from new concepts and designs to demonstrations of practical applications of frequency combs, including metrology, telecommunications, gas detection and detection for the food industry.
The project has received an investment of £1.6 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
Professor Turitsyn said: “We are pleased to receive this EPSRC award which will allow us, together with the two French academic centres, to both advance frequency comb technology by exploiting new nonlinear scientific concepts and to apply immediately developed technology to very important practical problems.