MPB Signs Licensing Agreement with the European Southern Observatory

Montreal, Canada, August 13, 2010 --( MPB Communications (MPBC) Inc. is pleased to announce that it has signed a licensing agreement with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) for the “ESO Fiber RAMAN Amplifier Technology developed and transferred by ESO” for narrow-band amplification.

The licensed ESO narrow-band Raman amplifier technology forms the basis of two new products now offered by MPBC:

Narrow Band Raman Amplifiers:

Narrow Band Raman amplifiers are capable of amplifying an input signal, as narrow as a few MHz, without spectrum broadening. Wavelengths between 1028 nm and 1185 nm are currently available, with custom wavelengths available based on demand.

Narrow Band Visible Raman Amplifiers:

Narrow Band Visible Raman Amplifiers are capable of amplifying a narrow, polarized input signal without spectrum broadening, after which the amplified signal is doubled to the visible using MPBC’s frequency doubler. Visible output powers of the order of few watts at wavelengths between 514 nm and 592 nm are currently available, with custom wavelengths available based on demand.

The ESO narrow-band Raman amplifier technology fits nicely with MPBC’s existing core competency in Raman fiber lasers, which the company has been supplying to the telecommunications industry for over ten years. The adoption of the new ESO narrow-band amplifier technology opens the door to new markets, based on the ability to amplify narrow-band input signals without spectrum broadening.

MPBC, in partnership with Toptica Photonics AG, have been awarded a euro 5.2 million contract from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to develop four continuous-wave, high-power (25W) laser guide stars at 589 nm for installation on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Paranal, Chile in September 2013. MPBC provides the novel narrow-band, polarization-maintaining Raman fiber amplifiers used to amplify the output of a Toptica narrow-band laser diode at 1178 nm which is then converted to 589 nm by a resonantly-enhanced high-power frequency doubler from Toptica.

About MPB Communications Inc.

Since 1977, MPBC has been manufacturing high-performance lasers and amplification products targeted at the Photonics Community. With products for telecommunications, aerospace, defense and scientific markets, MPBC is renowned for highly-reliable, innovative designs. The company has been recognized with numerous awards including the Canadian Enterprise Award, Mercuraides Business of the Year, The Canadian Export Award and the Fibre Optic Product News Technology award. MPBC is ISO9001 accredited with offices across Canada and its head office and R&D facilities centralized in Montreal Quebec.

About The European Southern Observatory

ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organization in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It operates three sites in Chile — La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor — on behalf of its fourteen member states. It is building ALMA together with international partners and designing the European Extremely Large Telescope.

MPB Communications Inc
Judy Paul