|Training and Research Involving Polymer Optical Devices|
TRIPOD is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network located in the field of optical fibre sensors - an area where Europe has developed internationally competitive research and commercial activity. The aim is to significantly extend the range of application of optical fibre grating sensors by developing a mature version of the technology in polymer optical fibres and thereby increase European competitiveness.
Polymer fibres offer some key advantages over silica, the two most important perhaps being the ability to sense much higher strains and the considerably reduced stiffness of the plastic compared to the glass fibre. Polymers are however complex materials and the properties of a sensor in this material are dependent on all stages of the sensor fabrication process, from initial preform production, through fibre drawing to grating fabrication.
In TRIPOD we have brought together an interdisciplinary scientific team with expertise covering all aspects of the sensor fabrication path to enable us to obtain a full understanding of the process, with the aim of enabling us to produce optimised grating sensors, efficiently, repeatably and reliably. Integral to the programme are end-user companies who will provide direction on sensor development and training to the researchers on business issues, as well as familiarising themselves with the new technology, enabling them to expand their business models. In addition, we include technology innovators to open up further applications and potential markets.