Bilkent University National Nanotechnology Research Center (UNAM) is shaping the future of technology through cutting-edge R&D and product development efforts by UNAM’s innovation team, focusing on the advancement of next-generation active and passive fibers, along with innovative combiners.
Bilkent University UNAM, which possesses the sole optical fiber preform production infrastructure and fiber drawing tower in the country, successfully manufactured Turkey’s first domestically produced kilowatt-level national active fiber in 2020. The active fiber, an achievement of Asst. Prof. Dr. Bülend Ortaç and research group, passed all tests and approvals after a decade-long journey of research and development. This year, UNAM’s advanced infrastructure has facilitated the production of Panda-type polarization-maintaining (PM) optical fibers, which the Turkish defense industry has employed succesfully. The PM fibers represent a remarkable achievement as UNAM’s first commercial product to emerge through its own resources and expertise.
In UNAM’s advanced infrastructure facilities, specialty PM fibers spanning over 100 kilometers are being continuously developed and produced to provide top-notch solutions to meet the unique needs of various sectors, particularly the defense sector. These fibers are specifically designed for use in specialized areas, encompassing critical equipment such as inertial measurement units (IMU), and range from tactical to higher-level navigation systems.
UNAM continues its work in line with TÜBİTAK’s 1004 Excellence Centers Support Program’s national goals, which foster collaboration among the public sector, industries and universities in Turkey under the principle of “developing and achieving together.” As the leader of the A1 platform, UNAM collaborates with TUSAŞ, Vestel and Şişecam as well as with Bilkent, Eskişehir Technical, Abdullah Gül (AGÜ) and TOBB ETÜ universities to conduct advanced R&D activities aimed at acquiring value-added technologies for local and national production in Turkey. One of the platform’s, and especially UNAM’s, primary objectives is to cater to industries’ needs, which include producing PM fiber preforms.