The DYNAMO project, coordinated by the UJI, the first EIC Pathfinder of the Comunitat Valenciana
The FUE-UJI participates as a partner entity in this project
The DYNAMO project, coordinated by the Grup de Recerca d’Òptica (GROC) of the Jaume I University of Castellón, has been approved by the European Commission within the framework of the maximum research and innovation program of the European Union, Horizon Europe. Thus, DYNAMO has become the only European EIC Pathfinder project coordinated by an entity from the Comunitat Valenciana to receive funding in this first call for the financial period 2021-2027 of Horizon Europe.
DYNAMO is an ambitious project that starts from the study of the fundamentals of acoustic wave dispersion and ends up developing ultra-fast imaging applications in optics. Its success combines the synergy of the disciplines of physical acoustics, photonics and images. The results of this project coordinated by the UJI will involve accelerating imaging technologies and positioning European science and industry at the forefront of inventions and advances in this area.
The project also has thirteen other international partners and associated entities such as the State Agency of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) of France, the Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine of the United Kingdom, the University of Mining and Metallurgy Stanislaw Staszic in Krakow, the European Association of Development Agencies of France, the Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research of the Valencian Community, the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness, the Finnovaregio entity, the French Institute of Electronics, Microelectronics and Nanotechnology, the Universitat Jaume I-Empresa Foundation, the Pierre et Marie Curie Association, Holoeye Photonics AG and the Sorbonne University.
The EIC Pathfinder DYNAMO project will develop new spatial light modulators based on opto-acoustic coupling. Such light modulators are currently limited by the update rate of the device, but the new system developed by DYNAMO will remove this limitation, thus creating a fundamental technological advance in the area of optics. The idea is based on sending all the possible patterns of the device simultaneously, encoded in a pulse of a few nanoseconds, so that the modulation of the light beam goes from being sequential to parallel.
In this way, DYNAMO will modulate optical beams in two spatial dimensions plus the temporal dimension. This translates into an innovation equivalent to the advancement of data processing from the first electronic computers with a clock frequency of 100kHz in 1945 to 1GHz processing in 2000. Therefore, DYNAMO would be working on the equivalent of this advance that took half century, transferred to the field of images and accelerated in 50 years thanks to the implementation of this project.
"The objective of DYNAMO is to achieve that extraordinary control of the image by generating a kind of" micro-earthquakes "that will distort the light when it is reflected on the surfaces", explains Daniel Torrent, principal investigator of the project and member of the GROC. Torrent illustrates this process with the following example: «If a ball is placed on its surface in a rippling pool, it is observed how it rises and falls periodically, taking almost a second in a complete cycle. The waves that will be studied in DYNAMO make the same movement, but at a rate of one billion times per second, which is the speed at which it is intended to manipulate the images formed from our “micro-earthquakes” ».
The ultra-fast manipulation of images has a myriad of applications, since it allows not only to form images but also to capture them by means of optical processing techniques. "There are a huge number of processes in nature that are too fast to be recorded with conventional cameras, but with the help of the devices that DYNAMO will develop, a giant leap in that direction will be made," adds Torrent. Also bearing in mind that imaging technologies form the basis of a wide range of products and devices, this advance will have a major global impact, both scientific and commercial.
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