MODE-GAP project makes progress in mode-division multiplexing

Sept. 21, 2012
Members of MODE-GAP, the European collaborative R&D project which 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.

Members of MODE-GAP, the European collaborative R&D project which 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.

Those papers include the results of a 73-Tbps transmission experiment using mode-division multiplexing (MDM) over a multimode optical fiber. The other two papers report WDM and data transmission over hollow photonic band-gap fiber at. The project’s aim is to combine both techniques -- MDM and 2-µm transmission – to dramatically increase the transmission capacity of optical fiber.

Half-way through its four-year program, MODE-GAP has been developing novel transmission fibers, and the associated enabling technologies. These include novel rare-earth doped optical amplifiers, transmitter and receiver components, and data processing techniques to increase the capacity of broadband networks. In addition to the post-deadline papers, MODE-GAP and its members presented 10 technical papers in the main ECOC conference describing progress across all aspects of the project.

On the Sunday, MODE-GAP hosted a workshop in conjunction with the Japanese EXAT project, titled “Optical Components and Characterization Requirements for SDM Networks.” Spatial-division multiplexing (SDM) based on MDM is the approach MODE-GAP is focusing on to significantly increase the transmission capacity of a single optical fiber. This is achieved by using 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.

“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.”

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.

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