Aston University and Pulse Power and Measurement have entered into a three-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) that will allow PPM to access Aston’s expertise in coherent optical communications network domain techniques. Aston University students will benefit from real-world teaching through industrial projects and potential final-year placements
PPM designs and manufactures a wide range of Radio Frequency (RF) over fiber systems, which allow RF electrical signals to be submitted over fiber optic cables.
Their ViaLite Communications business division is focused on optical transportation and manipulation of analog radio communication signals used in applications such as SATCOM, telemetry, broadcasting, cellular base stations and radar. The company has a range of high-profile international clients, including tier 1 satellite and broadcast providers.
Through the KTP, PPM will have access to academic expertise from the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, one of the largest photonics research groups in the world. The academics working on this project are Dr. Paul Harper and Professor Wladek Forysiak, both of whom have extensive experience of academic research and industrial development in the field of optical fiber communications. Performing the role of associate is Dr. Muhammad Nouman Malik.
Dr Harper is head of the Electrical and Electronic Engineering department, while Professor Forysiak is currently a Royal Academy of Engineering Professor in highly integrated coherent optical fiber communications and has previously held positions as EPSRC Manufacturing Fellow and Royal Society Industry Fellow.
Gary Barton, company supervisor at PPM, said, “Collaboration with Aston University via the KTP incentive is enabling PPM to push the boundaries of optical transport systems necessary to meet the challenges of new and diverse market requirements. With the valued assistance of Aston University’s Institute of Photonics Technologies, the development program is on course to deliver on PPM’s ambition to advance the next generation of analogue optics.”
Dr. Paul Harper, head of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Aston University, said, “This KTP project has been a great way for us to work with a new industrial partner and learn from PPM’s expertise in radio-over-fibre systems while passing on our optical fiber systems knowledge. Despite the problems posed to mobility by the pandemic, we’ve successfully completed collaborative proof-of-concept lab demonstrations in the first year of the project and are now moving onto the next phase of the development work.”
Dr. Muhammad Nouman Malik, associate on the project, said, “Acting as a bridge between academic and industrial partners has given me the opportunity to gain experience managing a challenging real-world project, with dedicated coaching and mentoring accelerating my personal development.”