Laser Pioneer visits Porthcurno

Laser Pioneer visits Porthcurno

Last Monday we were joined by Peter Selway, former head of the STL laser programme and former colleague of Charles Kao, inventor of the optical fibre.

Advances in Undersea Communications

Peter worked on the ground-breaking programme from the late 1960’s to 1998, during which time the parent company STC became a world leader in under-sea optical communication systems.

By 1996 STC Submarine Systems were involved in the construction of TAT12 and 13, the first amplified cable that landed at Porthcurno, using lasers that would last for a minimum of 25 years!


Peter was delighted to meet staff and volunteers, reminiscing with host Gareth Parry about early days in the development of under-sea optical fibre systems.

Chatting with our honorary curator John Packer, he explained that the first lasers of the early 1970’s only worked at liquid nitrogen temperatures and only lasted long enough to test them.

You can find out more about our unique collections including our fibre optic displays and interactives at

Laser Pioneer visits Porthcurno
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