The internationally-acclaimed Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT) – part of Aston University – has joined the European Union MODE-GAP project, which is looking to develop the disruptive technologies and concepts the world needs in order to prevent a capacity crunch in the global communications infrastructure.
The AIPT is an internationally recognised research centre in the field of fibre optics, high-speed optical communications and nonlinear photonic technologies. Its 50-strong team of researchers has been added to a Europe-wide group of leading companies and universities, which are working towards developing a new network with at least 100 times the capacity of today’s systems. The explosion of mobile networks and smart, remote devices such as smart phones, tablets, plus increasing use of video, is already causing potential bottlenecks in networks and there are fears that in another ten years the communications network may crash unless radical new solutions can be found.
Professor Andrew Ellis, of Aston University, will lead the AIPT’s involvement in MODE-GAP and will help the project benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise accumulated by the research centre over many years.
Professor Ellis says: “AIPT has one of the strongest theoretical and computer-modelling activities in advanced optical communications techniques in the world. Aston will be able to accurately estimate the likely performance advantages of the various strategies within MODE GAP which is essential to establish that a significant net benefit over conventional systems may be achieved.”
MODE-GAP project leader Dr Ian Giles adds: “Professor Ellis is internationally recognised for his contributions in the fields of nonlinearity in optical communications, and for highlighting the impending capacity crunch. We have already made significant progress, including showing a world leading result for multi-channel transmission, but this project is critical to people all over the world and we can only be strengthened in our work by the addition of the AIPT to our team.”
Key organisations comprising 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. Half-way through a four year programme, MODE-GAP’s mission is to develop transmission technologies based on specialist long-haul transmission fibres, and 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.
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