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Novel non-mechanical laser beam steering system for free space optical (FSO) communications

   Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy

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  Prof Peter Smowton  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The student will research and identify the most suitable means to provide novel non-mechanical laser beam steering using for example, quantum dots, quantum wires or metamaterials.

Airbus is a global pioneer in the aerospace industry, operating in the commercial aircraft, helicopters, defence and space sectors. Airbus is a leader in designing, manufacturing and delivering aerospace products, services and solutions to customers on a worldwide scale. Technological progress through research and innovation enables the company to develop benefits such as reduced cost and time of design cycles while contributing to increasing the sustainability of air travel.

The PhD studentship will aim to research and identify the most suitable solution(s) (e.g. nanowire, quantum dot, metamaterials and others) to provide game changing laser beam steering and control. The student will need to evaluate the most efficient way to control the phase of the individual elements of the steering device (either electrically or optically) to enable non-mechanical steering for FSO communication systems working at 1550nm.


The typical academic requirement is a minimum of a 2:1 physics and astronomy or a relevant discipline.

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS) (

Applicants should apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Astronomy with a start date of 1st October 2022.

Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages ( including:

• your academic CV

• a personal statement/covering letter

• two references, at least one of which should be academic

• Your degree certificates and transcripts to date.

In the "Research Proposal" section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisor of this project.

Once the deadline for applications has passed we will review your application and advise your within a few weeks if you have been shortlisted for an interview.

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year funded PhD with full stipend and UK tuition fees only at UKRI rate
estimated start date: October 2022

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