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Start date: Sep 20, 2013, End date: Apr 1, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Photonics is transforming from a highly-focused telecom technology into a pervasive “enabling” technology. Photonics has the potential to play a critical role in space missions and Europe has the opportunity to lead. In this context, HIPPO aims to lead the “high power photonics” trend and develop a new generation of high-power optical components and modules. HIPPO will do this guided by a leading satellite vendor: blending advanced InP fabrication, innovative packaging, photonic crystal fibres and advanced passive fibre-optics. HIPPO, under the continued guidance of the vendor, will demonstrate technology applicability into: 1) satellite laser communication terminals and 2) on-board optical processing for telecom satellites. Current state-of-the-art high-power commercial lasers are all manufactured in the USA, with some of them also falling under ITAR regulations prohibiting their use outside the US. HIPPO aims to end this restriction for the European supply chain by developing the necessary InP component expertise to equip Europe with the technological edge in high-power photonic components for space. HIPPO will develop the first space-qualified booster optical fibre amplifier and pave the way towards ultra-high power amplifiers through the introduction of photonic crystal, large mode area fibres and advanced passive fibre-optic components for space applications. HIPPO focuses on creating a powerful “made in Europe” technology base covering the complete spectrum of “high-power photonics”. A key strength of HIPPO is the complementary nature of the consortium: technology ‘’pull’’ is provided by the system vendor, with the other members, each contributing a vital part of the development – and the future supply chain. The impact of HIPPO will extend beyond the confines of telecom satellites and payloads. HIPPO high-performance, highly-robust components and modules will help fuel growth and increase the competitiveness of all European photonics activity.
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