G&H further expands its R&D capability with new Optical Systems Innovation Hub

At G&H, our commitment to translating innovation into action drives the creation of new environments that optimize our teams’ ability to develop and commercialize new ideas, products and customer solutions.

This is the strategy behind both our new cleanroom (as we reported in our recent article), and now the launch of our Optical Systems Innovation Hub in a brand new facility in St Asaph, UK.

Over two floors, the specialized engineering environment houses our growing development engineering team comprising specialists in fields as diverse as optical design, opto-mechanical analysis, electronics development, system testing and integration, set to further our focus on application areas including aerospace and defense (A&D), space, life sciences and more.

The Hub also has the necessary cleanroom space to allow for development and functional verification of new concepts and product designs in the relevant operational environment. At the same time, it is the launchpad for our product management and sales team specializing in optical systems, creating a seamless and effective interface between our commercial and engineering functions.

So, why is the Hub such exciting news for us, the customers and OEMs we already have, and industry prospects with a challenge in search of a solution?

The Optical Systems Innovation Hub: a step-change in value delivery

Firstly, the Hub significantly expands our R&D capability, with a dedicated team that will work on customer-driven product development projects as well as market-driven internal products, and adjacent and independent fields of research, exploiting technology synergies.

Secondly, it takes G&H into a new phase in its delivery of value to customers, since it strengthens our ability to design and build not just photonics and optics components, but the associated electro-optical subsystems and systems.

The Hub’s objective will be to design and develop optical systems with differentiated performance enabled by our state-of-the-art component base in our manufacturing facilities in the UK and US. The close link and recurring design process between the system and component is expected to create the rapid technology transfer and added value required by our customers through an effective new product development process.

Thirdly, the Hub enables us to engage with our customers very early on in the development process. Collaboration in this conceptual phase has been shown to be pivotal for optimally setting the system requirements by leading the technology and component trade-off analysis right at the beginning of the journey. This means we are not only able to take a product from specification to final integration, but to help drive both the initial concept development and ongoing project scope, factoring in design improvements to anticipate product issues before they even find their way into the risk register.

In short, the Optical Systems Innovation Hub is helping G&H deliver strongly on all fronts – research, design, manufacture, integration, assembly,– and create a business that is as much about expertise in end-to-end solutions as excellence in component-level manufacturing.

One of the early successes of the Hub has been the development of an AFV sighting system; the next generation of the Sabre – the Sabre-TI. With TI standing for thermal imaging the new version of this compact commander/gunner’s sight now offers tank crews the opportunity to identify otherwise hidden targets. The integration of thermal imaging technology is illustrative of the G&H approach to devising solutions which will add value for end users and so enable customers to be more competitive.

What innovation will take place at the Hub?

The Optical Systems Innovation Hub will build on and extend an existing track record of successful G&H component and systems development across many different market verticals.

To cite just a few examples, in the A&D arena, it will enable us to expand the integration and delivery of optical systems that employ precision optical components manufactured in-house for applications such as sighting systems, imaging systems for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, directed energy weapons and satellite laser communications.

Dean Catterall, Development Engineer


The team will work on designing and developing next-generation optical systems that will enable increased situational awareness in A&D, lightweight optical payloads in aerial and space platforms that use innovative optical design, state-of-the-art components, sensors and image processing.

Drawing on our expertise in other parts of the business, the Hub will gradually expand into designing more functional systems with internal G&H content, delivering high performance and increased value to our customers. In any industry or deployment where there is a need to design, develop and deliver subsystems of these types, repeatably and at scale, G&H will now be better placed than ever to answer the call.

G&H’s Chief Commercial Officer, Stratos Kehayas commented, “From sighting and imaging systems in aerospace and defense to minimally-invasive surgery, biomedical imaging systems, and industrial lasers, the key is always that intimate interface between the optical design and the precision optical components used to build them. We have to remember that the language of photonics technology is universal, and we are very fluent in speaking it!”

How to access the Hub

Whether you are an existing customer or you have just found out about our capabilities and technologies, the Hub can act as the first port of call for your challenging project. Our intention is that the Optical Systems Innovation Hub will be an accessible resource that facilitates easy engagement, so getting in touch with it is as simple as using the contact information below.

As ever, G&H is committed to changing the world with photonics – and with the Innovation Hub, we’re shifting the changes up a gear.

For further information on the G&H Systems Optical Innovation Hub, please contact us.