2019 New Product Development

Adrian Chance, Ilminster, 29 January 2020

As we make the final preparations for Photonics West, I am reminded how sometimes working in marketing, it’s easy to get lost in the detail. Talking recently to G&H CTO Stratos Kehayas reminded me of just how many new products the G&H Group has developed over the past twelve months: in 2019 our New Product Development (NPD) project portfolio resulted in 48 new products being commercialized and five patents granted.

Next week we’ll meet with some of our customers in San Francisco – do drop by our booth (no. 536). First though, let me give an overview of some of the new components and subsystems we’ve engineered in the past twelve months, enabling faster, lighter, higher spec photonics components and subsystems.

CubesatAEROSPACE AND DEFENSE

Designing and manufacturing in the US and UK:

Harsh Environment Fiber Optics
Active fiber optic and precision optical components supporting missile defense platforms.

Space Photonics

High-power amplifiers for inter-satellite links and constellations. This year we increased the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and qualified and delivered Watt-level optical amplifiers. Selected results will be presented at this year’s Photonics West conference . Read the abstract here. Having progressed our product portfolio on amplifiers to TRL 7 through commercial and ESA contracts, we are now expanding our R&D horizon and further moving up the value chain. To this end, we developed and delivered high-speed transmitter and receiver modules for UAV and cubesat communications by functional integration of G&H components made in Torquay and Boston facilities.

Optical Systems

State-of-the-art Opto-mechanical assemblies for a directed energy weapons (DEW) project.

Long-wave (LWIR) lens assemblies in diverse applications, from space to surveillance and security. We supplied a 50 degree uncooled LWIR lens for deployment on the Tridar docking system on International Space Station.

Short and mid-wave Infrared (SWIR/MWIR) lenses with motorized zoom and focus for defense applications

INDUSTRIAL

Acousto-Optic Deflectors

We introduced further variants of our acousto-optic Deflectors (AODF) product line suitable for UV laser systems further pushing the performance envelope of the technology. The new AODFs allow higher speeds and deflection angles for PCB via drilling in micro-electronics manufacturing.

Acousto-Optic Modulators

Further improvements in our germanium based AOM line and the introduction of a fully optimised driver are already proving fruitful in providing increased efficiencies in CO2 laser systems.

Electro-Optic BBO Pockel cells

We’ve expanded our Chiron™ range and now offer custom options that include single crystal cells, 3-crystal cells requiring 50% less voltage, and cells with water-cooled apertures for high average power operation.

Electro-optic Pockel Cell Drivers

The new addition to the R-Drive™ range, the medium voltage model, MVR, is close to commercialization. Early access to prototypes is available.

Fiber Optics
We further invested and commercialized new sub-systems for the sensing market, building on our award-winning fiber-coupled acousto-optic modulator, the Fiber-Q™. We developed systems for LiDAR and in-fiber sensing applicable to atmospheric sensing and high-value asset protection respectively.

LIFE SCIENCES AND BIOPHOTONICS

Our NPD programme on OCT this year focused on more complex sub-assemblies for ophthalmic and cardiovascular OCT applications as well as variants of our polarization diverse receiver.

We are also very excited with our results on developing record-breaking broadband couplers and motorized polarization controllers for OCT that enable the early diagnosis of glaucoma. Our modules were recently used in a prototype high-resolution polarization sensitive retina scanner demonstration in the frames of the R&D project GALAHAD. You can watch a video of the demo here.

Our medical device company ITL, developed a portable, performance-critical medical device normothermic perfusion system for OrganOx. The system operates by supplying a donated liver with oxygenated blood, anti-clotting drugs and assorted nutrients, whilst keeping the organ at a stable temperature (37°C).

Come along and talk to us on booth number 536 to find out more about our engineering for demanding applications and critical performance, in harsh environments or situations where reliability is paramount.