HIPPO aims to design and develop reliable high-power photonic components and modules for space applications and demonstrate applicability in satellite communications and on-board optical signal processing.


Objective 1: High-power semiconductor devices

The project will develop the necessary semiconductor fabrication and packaging technology to equip Europe with the necessary technological edge in high-power photonic components for space. Within the project, novel high-power and narrow linewidth lasers will be developed using monolithic InP fabrication processes with the view to develop laser devices that have superior performance compared to currently-available product lines. Moreover, on the high-power photodetector technology front, HIPPO will work on developing world-leading UTC-based photodiodes that are more efficient, faster and reliably packaged, rendering them powerful candidates for the space flight environment. Specifically, the following tangible objectives are set:


  • Space-qualified high-power laser modules with record performance in terms of power, linewidth and speed using novel device structures relying on advanced monolithic InP processes and packaging approaches for achieving space environment operation
  • Space-qualified high-power photodetector modules with record efficiencies, speed and power handling by developing novel detector topology and robust flip-chip mounting procedures.


Objective 2: Photonic crystals for space

HIPPO aims to introduce for the first time novel micro-structured optical fibres for space applications. It does so, by systematically working on the design and development of new generation of radiation-hard rare-earth doped fibres suitable for use as gain media in amplifiers and lasers within the C-band optical wavelength range. HIPPO, through a stepwise development plan, aims to solve the deadlock of power scaling in optical amplifiers and lasers, paving the way for ultra-high power fibre components and thus create unique market opportunities through commercialization of PCFs for space. Specifically, HIPPO will work on:


  • Design methodologies for creating radiation-hard micro-structured fibres
  • Develop double-cladding Er/Yb co-doped fibres for high-power amplifiers and lasers
  • Develop LMA Er/Yb co-doped fibres with air-clad for ultra-high power amplifier and lasers


Objective 3: High-power passive components for space environment

HIPPO will build on the demonstrated success of the deployment of G&H low power single-mode fused fibre passive components on ESA’s SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) mission. These fused components were derived from G&H terrestrial and high reliability submarine telecommunications products, and demonstrated the first use of single mode optical fibre components within an ESA mission. G&H is also the market-leader in the manufacture of high power optical isolators for fibre lasers. Its understanding of packaging and reliability for space applications will be applied to this world-beating technology within the framework of HIPPO. A proven step-wise methodology will be used within HIPPO to derive the space-qualifiable high power single- & multi-mode fused fibre passive components and optical isolators critical for the successful development and future deployment of space grade EDFA’s and associated high power modules. Design and engineering activities within HIPPO will evolve current commercial terrestrial products to make them both functionally compatible with high power EDFA designs and capable of qualification for space applications.



Objective 4: Scalable high-power amplifier modules

HIPPO will design and develop a new family of high-power optical fibre amplifiers applicable to space through an “all-European” collective effort. Exploiting the powerful synergies created on the component level, HIPPO aims to develop and commercialize radiation-resistant amplifiers with output power levels beyond 1 Watt. Moreover, by introducing novel micro-structured Er/Yb fibres, HIPPO will demonstrate optical amplifiers that can scale to optical powers beyond 50 Watts. Within HIPPO two generations of amplifier modules will be designed, developed and tested:


  • GEN-1: Rad-hard +30dBm booster amplifier employing custom-made Er/Yb co-doped fibres
  • GEN-2: Rad-hard +40dBm power amplifier, scalable to >47dBm employing Large-Mode-Area (LMA) Er/Yb co-doped Photonic Crystal Fibres