28 Feb Professor Awarded Fiber Optics Grant
The Air Force’s Defense University Research Equipment Program (DURIP) awarded Axel Schülzgen, a professor in the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida, an $870,000 grant to create fiber optic glass preforms, the tubular-shaped pieces of glass that make up fiber optic cables.
The UCF’s College of Optics and Photonics has been creating fiber optic cables since 2009 through a fiber draw tower, but they have had to purchase their preforms, which cost as much as $30,000 apiece. The preforms are then fed into the tower to produce fiber optic cables. The new funding will serve as a great draw to students who are interested in learning state-of-the-art methods of making real-world equipment. In addition to creating preforms, the grant money will go towards purchasing a modified chemical vapor deposition lathe system, which will allow UCF to produce a wider range of fiber optic cables and participate in more specialty research.
“With this addition to our tower we will have a one-stop-shop for creating fiber optics here at UCF,” Schülzgen said on the UCF website.
DURIP’s grant will allow UCF’s College of Optics and Photonics to create the preforms, feed them into the fiber tower to stretch them, and then jacket and wrap them into bundles. From this point, the fiber optic cables can transport vast amounts of data across land and sea.
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