Monthly Archives: October 2015
QuantIC’s Professor Daniele Faccio has been awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Physics for his work on “light in flight”. The £100,000 prize recognizes the achievement of outstanding researchers who work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising.
Professor Faccio’s research with QuantIC focusses on developing technologies to measure light at the single photon level. The new technologies being developed allows the reconstruction of the photon arrival time with incredible temporal precision and therefore effectively capturing “light in flight”. This feat of imaging light in motion has never been achieved before and is opening up opportunities in developing new camera systems such as the QuantiCam, which can see behind walls or around corners, and has the potential for other applications including non-invasive medical imaging and monitoring the ripeness and health of fruit.
Based at Heriot Watt University, Professor Faccio is also Group leader for the Extreme Light Group at the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences at the university. Regarding the award, he said, “It’s a fantastic acknowledgement on the importance of new light technologies and I’d like to thank The Leverhulme Trust for this award which will enable us to facilitate more networking and collaboration between external research groups and support our public engagement and outreach activities.”
QuantIC, has awarded its first three partnership resource grants, which aims to expedite the translation of new emerging quantum enhanced imaging technology for industrial applications.
Evaluated by an industry led Market Opportunities Panel, the projects are:
• Gas Sight – MSquared Lasers supported by Glasgow University
• SPADnet2 – STMicroelectronics supported by Edinburgh University
• Dual mode 3D Single Pixel Camera – Finmeccanica-Selex ES supported by Glasgow University
Details of the projects can be found below.
This technical feasibility project will investigate, in an industrial setting, the gas detection performance capabilities of the prototype Single Pixel Camera (SPC) developed at Glasgow University. The prototype camera is currently at Technology Readiness Level 4 and has already been demonstrated to detect pure methane in a laboratory setting but requires more extensive testing and development before industrial investment can be attracted.
If it can be shown to work the SPC offers the potential for lower cost, smaller sized, lower power and highly portable remote gas detection system than those currently available. The global gas sensing market was estimated at USD1.78 billion in 2013 and is projected to worth USD 2.32billion by 2018.Gas sensing has relevant applications in sectors such as oil and gas, building and construction, food processing, healthcare and water treatment.
The project will be led by M Squared Lasers and be supported by Glasgow University. It will build and test a new single pixel camera that will be combined with M Squared Lasers’ tunable mid-IR laser to form an active hyperspectral imager.
The project will undertake sensitivity testing of the SPC with regard to
• different gas/air concentrations, down to less than 1000ppm.m
• extended distances, up to 10m.
The study focuses on the inherent capability of the camera, which will still require significant development work if it is ever to be developed for production. It will accelerate its move from the laboratory into industry if it shows enough promise.
QuantIC’s Professor Miles Padgett’s world leading quantum imaging team based at University of Glasgow will build, commission, calibrate and support the SPC.
About M Squared Lasers
M Squared Lasers is a company, which explores, develops and manufactures next-generation lasers and photonic instruments. The core team has more than twenty years of experience in R&D and manufacturing with a track record of award-winning products and business success to show for it. They are already engaged in the gas sensing market. For more information, visit: www.m2lasers.com.
This QuantIC project has the dual aims of knowledge transfer of product operation from the University of Edinburgh into ST Microelectronics and the creation of material, results and documentation, which will allow immediate progression towards exploitation of the SPADnet2 sensors developed under European FP7 project SPADnet.
These smart, large area networked image sensors are based on a conventional CMOS fabrication technology and have applications in Positron Emission Tomography. The sensors, which are faster and cheaper than existing devices, have the added benefit of being compatible with use in strong magnetic fields, a prerequisite for the integration of PET scanners with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. The combination of PET and MRI is particularly desirable for clinical diagnostic in oncology, cardiology and neurology.
The project will further consolidate the lead position held by ST Microelectronics in Edinburgh in the area of SPAD development and lay the groundwork for further development in this area.
QuantIC’s Professor Robert Henderson from the University of Edinburgh is leading on the SPADnet2 project.
ST is a global semiconductor leader delivering intelligent and energy-efficient products and solutions that power the electronics at the heart of everyday life. ST’s products are found everywhere today, and together with our customers, we are enabling smarter driving and smarter factories, cities and homes, along with the next generation of mobile and Internet of Things devices. By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented. Further information can be found at www.st.com.
Dual mode 3D Single Pixel Camera
University of Glasgow and Finmeccanica-Selex ES will investigate the performance of an innovative compact dual mode 3D Single Pixel Camera (SPC), utilizing pulsed laser sources operating in the visible and near infra-red, in providing high spatial resolution image reconstruction of objects and real world scenes over distances of tens to hundreds of metres.
This will be the first time a 3D SPC will have been demonstrated for infrared ranging and profiling in a field trial and if successful, could lead to the development of a robust 3D time-of-flight imaging LIDAR for the visible and IR using low cost single –pixel detectors and cheaper detection optics to provide a more functional alternative to expensive scanning systems. While practical applications for the technology will be relevant for the defence sector, Finmeccanica-Selex ES and Glasgow University will also explore the technology’s potential to other market sectors.
This project is being led by Professor Miles Padgett and his team at the University of Glasgow.
About Selex ES
Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company, is an international leader in electronic and information solutions for defence, aerospace, space, security, high-integrity surveillance, network management, information security and mission-essential services.
As a world leader in high technology systems and sensors with extensive experience across a range of sectors and domains, Selex ES is able to meet the diverse needs of customers who require first class solutions. For more info, visit www.selex-es.com.
Last Friday 25 Sept 2015 saw the return of European Researchers’ Night or Explorathon’15 as it is known in Scotland. Funded by the European Commission, it was an opportunity for the public to meet researchers and talk with them, and find out what they really do for society in interactive and engaging ways.
QuantIC was excited to be involved this year and our researchers were at Edinburgh Zoo, Glasgow Riverside Museum and the Glasgow Science Centre presenting their research to a very diverse audience who were intrigued and excited at the same time.
Explorathon first timer Johannes Herrnsdorf from the University of Strathclyde, who presented his work on LED Illumination said, “I got the most interest from the parents of the kids (especially from the dads) and it was good to showcase some actual research out of the lab.” Johannes’ research focuses on LED illumination capable of projecting patterns and sending information at such fast speed they are undetectable to the human eye. These patterns can be used by sensing devices to determine their position accurately within an environment and the information can be used to undertake tasks.
Other research projects included demonstrating light in light, seeing behind paint with a single pixel camera and the modelling of the human face in three-dimensions. About 175 people volunteered to have their faces taken in 3D, with the images becoming useful data in computer vision, statistical and mathematical techniques required to model facial shape for medical and biological applications.
Researchers also found Explorathon a good networking opportunity to discuss ideas and collaboration. QuantIC’s Richard Middlemiss from University of Glasgow said, “We had about 200 people visit our stand and we even spoke to researchers from Engineering who make drones, since we hope one day to fly our gravimeters on one of these and it was a useful conversation to have.”
It sounds like a good experience was had by all, so here’s to Explorathon next year!!
QuantIC’s Professors Gerald Buller, Doug Paul and John Rarity and Dr Jonathan Matthews were recently awarded Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Fellowships in Quantum Technology.
The Fellowships have been awarded in recognition for the work that is being done to support the exploitation of new emerging technologies and is as part of the government’s £270M investment in the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.
Professor Gerald Buller, founding Director of Heriot-Watt’s Institute of Photonics and Quantum Science, secured £1.4M for research in quantum enhancement of next generation imaging systems. Commenting on the fellowship, Professor Buller said, “This Fellowship will allow our group to take our quantum-enhanced imaging research to the next level, beyond laboratory work.”
Professor Douglas Paul’s Fellowship is also focused on increasing industrial uptake of quantum technologies. The Director of James Watt Nanofabrication Centre has received more than £1.5 million to work with a range of UK companies, government agencies, standards laboratories and universities to deliver a high sensitivity gas detector. Professor Paul said: “The University of Glasgow’s leadership of QuantIC and close relationship with the other UK quantum technology hubs puts us in the ideal position to foster closer and more productive relationships between academia and industry for the benefit of the UK economy”.
QuantIC’s co-investigator, Professor John Rarity at the University of Bristol also secured EPSRC Quantum Technology Fellowships. He was awarded £1.6M to develop technology that will dramatically reduce the scaling cost for building a quantum information processor which could revolutionise classical optical networks. Professor Rarity also had the honor of being recently elected a Fellow of The Royal Society in recognition of his pioneering work in experimental one-photon and two-photon optics.
Last but certainly not least, University of Bristol’s Dr Jonathan Matthews’ £1.2M Fellowship will allow him to exploit the unique properties of quantum physics to revolutionise optical sensors that fundamentally enhance performance, reduce light exposure and reduce cost. “This programme will enable me to work with companies, biologists, chemists and engineers to accelerate practical application of a fresh and revolutionary approach to sensing and measurement” said Dr Matthews. “I’m thrilled with the opportunity that this fellowship represents for myself and my team — we are going to tackle some really exciting engineering and scientific milestones”.
The EPSRC Fellowships awarded to Professors Buller, Paul and Rarity and Dr Matthews is another feather in the cap for QuantIC, following its own £27M funding to support the exploitation of quantum technology in the UK.