About the project
This is an opportunity to carry out a PhD at the Communications Systems Lab of the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC). The group has been at the forefront of optical fibre communications since the very earliest days of the field providing several critical contributions, including the invention of the erbium doped fibre amplifier – a device that eliminated fibre loss as the fundamental limiting factor to signal transmission and which is installed in all modern optical communication networks. Optical communications remain by far the largest market for photonics and as such it represents one of the ORC’s primary research areas.
This project will explore radically new ways of implementing optical transmission systems.
The communication networks that serve our everyday needs face an ever-growing demand for data communication traffic. Optical fibre transmission systems powered by erbium-doped fibre amplifiers have satisfied this demand over the last three decades or so. However, their capacity is currently reaching saturation, and the only apparent way forward is to keep installing more fibres. That is unless some radically new solutions are to be adopted.
This PhD project will explore experimentally the prospect of extending the usable bandwidth of optical fibres. This can be achieved by using novel amplification and transmission technologies, which are developed within the ORC. The project will analyse the use cases that shape the demand for ultra-wideband systems. Through a series of challenging experimental demonstrations, the student working on this project will explore the capabilities and limitations of the new solutions. This will be an opportunity to experience new technological solutions as they become available and shape the scene on optical transmission for years to come.
The student working on this project will make use of the strong facilities of the telecommunication systems laboratory of the ORC. These include full electronic and optical signal generation and diagnostic capabilities and a direct connection to an installed fibre transmission line originating from the lab, linking the ORC to other collaborating laboratories across the UK (the UK’s NDFF). The project draws from the activities of the UKRI Programme Grant Airguide Photonics.