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The Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI) develops state-of-the-art instruments for a wide range of disciplines from astrophysics to medical and industrial microscopy.

Applications have included optical components for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and ESA’s Sentinel-4 mission. CfAI also boasts regular, cheap access to space (40km altitude, which is above 99.5% of the Earth’s atmosphere) as a partner in NASA’s SuperBIT high-altitude balloon mission. This has enabled the development and space-qualification of low-cost opto-mechanical systems and control electronics. CfAI is developing free-space optical communications technology, for high-bandwidth connectivity to GEO and LEO for secure communications and data download from Earth/solar observatories. This includes modelling links and ground station design.

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