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Laser Applications of Adaptive Optics

On the 9th September 2009 the first meeting under the new insignia of Innovations Club was held in Edinburgh. The event was organised together with the Photonics KTN at the prestigious Royal Observatory and attracted over forty attendees comprising of the UK’s adaptive optics research community along with interested industry based representatives. The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh is unique among UK scientific establishments in that it houses on a single site a university astronomy research group, an establishment of a UK Research Council and a Visitor Centre. It was an ideal host for a brokering meeting centred on the latest developments of laser technology arising from techniques in adaptive optics (AO).

The event was opened with a welcome address and an introduction to the newly named Innovations Directorate at STFC by Major Chahal (Innovations Interface Manager, STFC). The day was divided into two sessions with separate themes. The first was chaired by Sandi Wilson (Knowledge Exchange Manager STFC-UKATC/ Photonics KTN) and covered an overview of current research themes and applications of AO which were provided by Richard Myers and Gordon Love of Durham University. Within this session, Simon Poland of the Institute of Photonics, University of Strathclyde described the advantages of employing AO techniques in diverse applications as microscopy where a number of systems proposed incorporated AO elements can provide aberration correction for hi-resolution images.

From an industry perspective Simon Hall of the National Physical Laboratory presented the new NPL capabilities implemented in a prototype artificial eye using an adaptive liquid lens and an NPL designed drive unit to allow "phantom" measurements to be obtained and for optical hazard to be calculated with reference to current exposure limits. Continuing the industrial theme, Mel Strachan of the UKATC expanded on the use of composite materials in deformable mirror technology.

Following some productive networking between industry and academia, the afternoon session concentrated directly on laser applications. Chris Hooker of the Central Laser Facility, RAL described the uses of AO for high peak power laser systems and the emerging modalities. Industrial perspectives beginning to emerge in laser-based manufacturing processes were presented by Duncan Hand and Derryck Reid of Heriot-Watt University employing novel techniques for improving machining standards by wavefront engineering principles in femtosecond-laser material processing and the application of three different types of adaptive optics to nanosecond pulsed laser machining applications developed at the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences. The latest developments from the BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre on laser applications of AO and MEMS components provided a view on technologically intensive research in this field.

At the end of the session Rachael Jack, External Programmes Manager provided an overview of funding schemes available from the STFC Innovations Directorate.


Programme Speaker
10:00 - 10:30 Coffee and Registration
10:30 - 10:40 Welcome Major Chahal, STFC and Sandi Wilson, Photonics KTN
10:40 - 11:00 Overview (PDF - 7410kB - link opens in a new window) Richard Myers, University of Durham
11:00 - 11:20 Free space optical communications (PDF - 361kB - link opens in a new window) Gordon Love, University of Durham
11:20 - 11:40 Adaptive optics in microscopy Simon Poland, University of Strathclyde
11:40 - 12:00 Wavefront Metrology (PDF - 6074kB - link opens in a new window) Simon Hall, National Physical Laboratory
12:00 - 12:20 Novel deformable mirrors technology (PDF - 6995kB - link opens in a new window) Mel Strachan, STFC-UKATC
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch and Posters
13:30 - 13:50 Adaptive optics in very high peak power laser systems (PDF - 3127kB - link opens in a new window) Chris Hooker, Central Laser Facility, STFC-RAL
13:50 - 14:10 Laser engineering for manufacturing applications (PDF - 5557kB - link opens in a new window) Duncan Hand, Heriot-Watt University
14:10 - 14:30 Adaptive optics and MEMS in lasers (PDF - 6206kB - link opens in a new window) Walter Lubeigt, University of Strathclyde
14:30 - 14:50 Laser processing of delicate materials (PDF - 2175kB - link opens in a new window) Derryck Reid, Heriot-Watt University
14:50 - 15:10 STFC funding schemes (PDF - 675kB - link opens in a new window) Rachael Jack, STFC
15:10 - 16:00 Wrap Up And Networking Opportunity With Refreshments

Last updated: 19 March 2019


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