Project Type: EngD

Supervisor: Professor Harald Haas

Project Description

Visible light communication is an emerging field that is likely to form a key strand of the next generations of communications protocols offering increased bandwidth compared to radio frequency (RF) comms, license-free operation, and, in some situations, increased security.

The development of micro-LED’s and visible laser diode sources has enabled high data rate demonstrations of both line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight architectures, in particular when coupled with the exquisite sensitivity and timing capabilities of modern single-photon detectors. This project seeks to exploit advances in sources and detectors together with optical design to develop improved optical communications systems for challenging environments.

These environments could be hampered by smoke, dust, mist, or turbid water. They could be complex and cluttered or have high background illumination. Terrestrial and space-borne systems may be addressed, with their particular challenges in size, weight, power, and robustness. Use will be made of Fraunhofer prototyping expertise with a view to real-world demonstrations and deployment.

Working within the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics alongside researchers, engineers, and other students, the EngD student shall also be required to work in multidisciplinary teams within project consortia spanning academia and industry. Where possible the results of research will be published in peer-reviewed journals and reported at conferences. Some work with industrial end-users may be commercially sensitive and subject to some restrictions.

The student will work in the Fraunhofer CAP labs and shared offices in the Technology and Innovation Centre, located in central Glasgow. We are co-located with the University of Strathclyde, where the student’s academic supervisor, Professor Harald Haas, is based. The project will involve a combination of lab work and computational desk work. There may also be a modest amount of work off-site, potentially outdoors, performing tests of the system over long ranges. The student will benefit from Fraunhofer CAP’s extensive and well-equipped optical laboratories, and will also have access to our suite of scientific and CAD software. We encourage interaction and collaboration between our staff and students in the shared office spaces, and through regular team meetings and topical discussions.

Fraunhofer CAP is a professional R&D organisation and as such maintains core hours of operation. However, we are flexible in our approach and would welcome discussions with the candidate regarding flexible working. We value diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

CDT Essential Criteria

A Masters level degree (MEng, MPhys, MSc) at 2.1 or equivalent.

Desire to work collegiately, be involved in outreach, undertake taught and professional skills study.

Project Essential Criteria

First- or upper-second degree background in physics or electronic engineering, preferably with specialisation in optics & photonics or signal processing.

Strong ability and desire to set-up experimental systems and put theory into practice.

Ability to work with as part of a wider team and demonstrate initiative when tasked with lone working.

Desire to interact with industrial end-users.

Project Desirable Criteria

Experience in setting up optical and laser-based systems.

Experience with scientific programming languages (for example, Python, MATLAB, C++, Labview).