A day with no internet and no phones? It could be nearer than you know

Fibres

Fibres



April 09, 2013

Dr. Ian Giles, Project Manager of MODE-GAP

Within a telecoms world dominated by new devices and apps, a simple fact that seems to be passing everyone by, is that today’s networks are reaching a capacity crunch as current technology reaches the limits of its capability. Science is struggling to keep ahead of demand so badly that current technology is set to reach its capacity limits within the next 20 years – meaning that if nothing is done, the networks will crash and the telephones won’t even work, never mind the internet.

The European Commission R&D project, MODE-GAP, is one of only three projects across the world which is looking at designing and developing a new network with 100 times the capacity of today’s systems. The project is half-way through a four year programme, and its mission is to develop transmission technologies based on specialist long-haul transmission fibres, and associated enabling technologies.

By using Spatial Division Multiplexing (which includes: Multi-fibre, Multi-core and Multi-mode) the project has the potential to increase the capacity whilst utilising high level modulation techniques including, Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing and Polarization Multiplexing.

MODE-GAP has already achieved the world leading result for multi-channel transmission, the first multimode amplifiers have been shown and utilised, and the first 2um Wavelength Division Multiplexing system and PBGF multimode transmission has been shown. The project has made excellent progress, but not without challenging issues along the way, each has been resolved by the team of partners in all areas of the system design and realisation.

Dr Ian Giles, Project Manager of MODE-GAP said: “The work of the MODE-GAP project is critical as the current rate of increased demand for bandwidth limits will potentially be reached within the next 10 years. We’re using Spatial Division Multiplexing to increase the capacity of a single mode fibre and the project has already made excellent progress.”

Organisations comprising MODE-GAP include the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre, the University of Aston’s Institute of Photonic Technologies, 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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