Team members of MODE-GAP, an European collaborative R&D project that is part of the EU 7th Framework Programme on next-generation internet infrastructure, presented no fewer than three post-deadline papers at the ECOC 2012 conference in Amsterdam.
Now half-way through its four year programme, the MODE-GAP project is exploring ways to increase the capacity of optical transmission by using novel types of optical fibres. The problem is being tackled on several fronts: using ultra-low-loss photonic bandgap fibre and mode-division multiplexing (MDM), which uses multiple modes within the same core of few-mode fibers (FMF) as independent channels, each with capacity similar to that of an individual singlemode fiber.
The post-deadline papers presented at ECOC include the results of a 73-Tbps transmission experiment using mode-division multiplexing. The other two papers report WDM and data transmission over hollow photonic band-gap fiber at a wavelength of 2 microns. This wavelength corresponds to the low-loss window in this type of optical fiber.
The project’s aim is to combine both techniques – mode-division multiplexing and hollow-core photonic fibre – to dramatically increase the transmission capacity of optical fiber. It has also been developing the associated enabling technologies, such as novel rare-earth doped optical amplifiers, transmitter and receiver components, as well as data processing techniques to increase the capacity of broadband networks.
“Post deadline papers that are accepted at ECOC reflect only the latest leading edge results,” said MODE-GAP project manager Dr Ian Giles. “Any organization would be proud to have a single such paper approved, and so presenting three highlights the significant progress the project is achieving and to truly world class levels.”
In addition, MODE-GAP and its members presented 10 technical papers in the main ECOC conference describing progress across all aspects of the project.The organizations that compose MODE-GAP include the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre, ESPCI ParisTech, OFS Fitel Denmark APS, Phoenix Photonics, the COBRA Institute at Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Eblana Photonics Ltd, Nokia Siemens Networks GMBH & Co. KG, and the Tyndall National Institute of University College Cork.
By Pauline Rigby