Press Releases

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  • Fraunhofer IOF Young Researcher Award for Innovative Theses Presented / 2023

    "Applied Photonics Award 2023": These are the winners

    Jena (Germany) / October 12, 2023

    How can computers become even more powerful with the help of light while consuming less energy? How can we produce tiny micro-optics faster and more cost-effectively in the future? And how can findings from nano-optics be applied to the industrial use of quantum sensors? The prize winners of this year's "Applied Photonics Award" are addressing these and other questions about the future. The Young Researcher Award was presented to the five award winners of 2023 on October 12 as part of the "Photonics Days Jena".

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  • Statement: Fraunhofer IOF Institute Director Andreas Tünnermann welcomes important step for national space research / 2023

    New space strategy of the German government

    Berlin / Jena (Germany) / September 29, 2023

    This week, the german federal government has approved the new space strategy. Andreas Tünnermann, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF and Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, welcomes the new strategy as an "important step for national space research". He expects that especially the innovation ecosystem at the photonics location Jena "will make relevant contributions to the implementation of the new space strategy".

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  • New hub for quantum communication in Germany is being built in Erfurt: New research project Q-net-Q launched / 2023

    "There is no way around Thuringia on the future quantum highway"

    Erfurt / Jena / Nordhausen / Sundhausen / Berlin / Frankfurt am Main (Germany) / August 31, 2023

    The Free State of Thuringia wants to become an important hub for the German quantum network. With various projects, the state, the federal government and the European Union are driving forward the expansion of a network for quantum communication in Germany. Existing test links for researching quantum-secured fiber links between Erfurt and Jena are now to be extended by new sections in the direction of Nordhausen and, in perspective, Berlin and Frankfurt am Main. A visit by Thuringia's Science Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee to the Fraunhofer Center in Erfurt on August 31, 2023 marked the start of further route expansion, which is being carried out as part of the new Q-net-Q research project.

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  • Quantum key successfully distributed between two points with combination of free-space and fiber links / 2023

    QuNET initiative: One step closer to highly secure quantum communication

    Jena, Germany / July 28, 2023

    Researchers from Jena, Berlin, Erlangen-Nuremberg and Wessling have successfully distributed quantum keys between two points using a combination of free-space and fiber links under everyday conditions. On a heterogeneous test bed in Jena, they achieved key rates in the kilobit range per second in daylight. The experiment was implemented as part of the QuNET initiative, a pilot project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to develop highly secure communication systems based on quantum technologies.

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  • Researchers use electron beam lithography to produce metastructures on large surfaces, setting a new record / 2023

    Thin metasurfaces instead of thick lenses

    Jena (Germany) / June 26, 2023

    Bye bye, lens. Hello metasurface! So-called metasurfaces can help to make optical systems thinner in the future, while at the same time increasing their functionality. The problem: Until now, conventional manufacturing processes have often only been able to realize small metasurfaces, often smaller than one square millimeter. Researchers at Fraunhofer IOF have now succeeded for the first time in producing a metasurface with a diameter of almost 30 centimeters using electron beam lithography - a world record. The scientists have now published their method in the "Journal of Micro/Nanopatterning, Materials, and Metrology". Further, the novel metastructure will be on public display for the first time at LASER World of Photonics in Munich, Germany, June 27-30.

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  • Car2Human communication at LASER 2023 / 2023

    Replacing hand gestures with holography

    June 01, 2023

    How do you decide whether a pedestrian needs to wait or it’s safe for them to cross the road in front of a car? In today’s world, car drivers and pedestrians simply exchange a brief eye contact or small hand gestures to express their in-tentions to one another. But how will future autonomous cars communicate? Researchers involved in the MaMeK project are seeking to answer that ques-tion. They will be presenting their findings at the LASER World of PHOTONICS trade fair in Munich from June 27 to 30 (Booth 415, Hall A2).

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  • A sustainable way to determine plants’ water needs / 2023

    Satellite technology — sustainable use of water in agriculture

    May 25, 2023

    Water is becoming increasingly scarce. In the future, innovative satellite technology will ensure that plants are given only as much water as they need, leading to a more sustainable use of this essential resource. A prototype of the technology, LisR, has already been tested on the International Space Station (ISS). A team of researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut, EMI, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF and two spin-offs, constellr GmbH and SPACEOPTIX GmbH, has received the Fraunhofer Prize for Human- and Environment-Centered Technology for this development.

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  • goSCOUT3D enables flexible three-dimensional measurement of complex objects / 2023

    Mobile scanner makes 3D measurement easier to handle

    Jena / Hannover / Stuttgart (Germany) / Yokohama (Japan) / April 11, 2023

    An MTU employee digitizes an engine.
    © MTU Maintenance

    Virtual 3D models of real objects, so called »digital twins«, offer numerous advantages – be it for digitization or in the quality control of industrial manufacturing. But the more complex an object, the more difficult it is to measure its shape and transfer it to a 3D model. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, in collaboration with MTU Maintenance, have now developed a portable sensor that enables particularly flexible 3D capture, for example of aircraft engines. The handheld scanner, called goSCOUT3D, will be presented to the public for the first time at the OPIE’23 trade fairs in Yokohama from April 19 to 21 and at the CONTROL in Stuttgart from May 9 to 12.

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  • Fraunhofer IOF and partners developed measuring instrument GALA / 2023

    Space mission JUICE launches into space with telescope from Jena to explore Jupiter and its moons

    Jena / Oberkochen / Stuttgart (Germany) / Kourou (French-Guayana) / April 05, 2023

    Reflection telescope developed in Jena for the laser altimeter GALA, used in the space mission JUICE.

    On April 13, the European Space Agency (ESA) will launch its JUICE mission to explore Jupiter and its moons. On board of the spacecraft will be the GALA measuring instrument. It will use laser pulses to measure the surface of the Earth-like moon Ganymede. The instrument was developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena together with the company HENSOLDT Optronics. GALA will be the first "deep space laser altimeter" to be used at a distance of approximately one billion kilometers from Earth.

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  • New production architecture SWAP-IT enables efficient and scalable adaptation of manufacturing processes / 2023

    High-precision mirror manufacturing down to the nanometer with 30% less production time

    Jena / Hanover (Germany) / April 03, 2023

    Flexible robotic arms process a mirror.

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF have found a new way to produce high-precision components such as mirror optics in a particularly efficient and scalable manner - while maintaining the highest quality and low costs. To achieve this, they are using a new type of production architecture: SWAP-IT. This is being developed as part of the Fraunhofer SWAP lead project with the aim of making industrial manufacturing processes in the factory of the future more flexible, efficient, and economical. At the Hannover Messe from April 17 to 21, the lead project will be presented with its diverse application possibilities in high-precision mirror manufacturing, among other areas.

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Please note that in the past not all press releases were published in English. You will therefore find a complete listing of press releases on our German site: German press releases.