Introduction Frequency combs are the world’s most precise laser sources, with intrinsic noise measured at the 10-19 level, and celebrated in the 2005 Nobel prize to Jan Hall and Ted Haensch for their early work in developing this technology. This project is one of 3 offered in support of a new £1M initiative jointly supported by UK industry and the EPSRC to develop frequency combs to enable innovative ways to measure distance in industrial manufacturing contexts – from the curvature of mirror segments of large telescopes, to the position of machine-tools or the shape of turbine blades or aeroplane fuselages. Technical context This and the other 2 adjacent doctoral projects will investigate & develop complementary solutions to a distance measurement approach known as "dual-comb distance metrology", with the long term intention being to bridge the gap between precision and extended-range accuracy, providing industry with traceable & universal length-metrology. In a nutshell, we want to demonstrate an optical measurement approach that can measure the position of objects at considerable distance without sacrificing accuracy. Project description: Diode-pumped Ti:sapphire frequency combs for precision distance metrology The most accurate laser frequency combs are those based on the solid-state gain crystal Ti:sapphire, which normally requires an expensive, water cooled green laser pump source. At Heriot-Watt we have obtained direct pumping using green laser diodes, a potentially game-changing technology. This project will develop laser-diode pumped Ti:sapphire frequency combs, leveraging their size and modulation bandwidth to develop versatile and cost-effective combs that can be multiplexed to achieve ultra-high-precision distance metrology using cooperative targets such as retroreflectors. Beginning with the development of novel Ti:sapphire dual-comb systems, the project will move towards applying these in collaboration with our industrial partner Renishaw for applications in quantifying machine-tool errors. The student will be registered at Heriot-Watt University where they will spend the majority of their time. Renishaw PLC is based on the same campus as Heriot-Watt.
Please send inquiry emails to Prof. Derryck T Reid at D.T.Reid@hw.ac.uk