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Novel optical beam steering for quantum communications


Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS)

Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Short project description:

Applied research exploring novel devices and techniques for optical beam steering and adaptive optics. The work is primarily aimed at quantum communication applications, but has broader context in long distance laser communications, e.g. deep space. The project will involve simulations, hands-on lab work, and experimental field trials. Previous experience with optoelectronic devices is essential. The candidate would join a research team with extensive research infrastructure and collaborative links to industry.

Long description:

Applied research exploring novel devices and techniques for optical beam steering and adaptive optics. The work is primarily aimed at free-space quantum communication applications (long-distance and satellite), but the research has broader applications in long distance or photon-starved laser communications. The candidate will work with next generation single-photon array detector technologies, a range of beam-steering and adaptive optic systems, and integrated devices. The research will allow the candidate to interact with industrial collaborators.

The project will involve both desk-based simulations and hands-on experimental work, giving the candidate a well-rounded PhD experience. The candidate will build skills in programming, free-space optical design/construction, single-photon detection, laser communications, and conducting field trials. Throughout this project, the candidate will have many opportunities to develop transferrable communication skills through industrial and academic collaborations, the publication of peer-reviewed papers, and attendance of conferences/workshops.
An ideal candidate will be strongly motivated to pursue up to 3.5 years of intensive academic research. The candidate should have the ability to work both individually and in a group. Previous experience of laboratory work is expected, as the research will be laboratory intensive. Experience with programming languages, such as Matlab, would be highly advantageous for a candidate. The research is closely aligned with industrial needs, and a candidate with (or seeking) industrial experience would be advantageous. Candidates from engineering disciplines are also encouraged to apply for the project.
The PhD student will join the Single-Photon Group (www.single-photon.com) under the supervision of a Royal Academy of Engineering (https://www.raeng.org.uk/) Research Fellow, Dr Ross Donaldson, for a fully-funded PhD position. The Single-Photon Group has a long-standing track record in researching ground-breaking quantum communication systems, which has led to them playing a leading role in the UK National Quantum Technology Programme (http://uknqt.epsrc.ac.uk/), particularly the UK Quantum Communications Hub (https://www.quantumcommshub.net/). The group has well equipped state-of-the-art research facilities as well as an experienced team of more 8 postdocs/research fellows, 6 full-time PhD students. The team also play a leading role in a fully-funded satellite-to-ground CubeSat quantum communications mission.

Funding Notes




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