Optical Networking and SensingRead our Optical Networking and Sensing publications from our team of researchers. We are leading world-class research into the next generation of optical networks and sensing systems that will power ICT-based social solutions for years. We advance globally acknowledged innovation by engaging in visionary theoretical research, pioneering experiments, and leading technology field trials. Our work not only foresees the future but also transforms it into today’s reality.


A system-on-chip microwave photonic processor solves dynamic RF interference in real-time with femtosecond latency

Radio-frequency interference is a growing concern as wireless technology advances, with potentially life-threatening consequences like interference between radar altimeters and 5?G cellular networks. Mobile transceivers mix signals with varying ratios over time, posing challenges for conventional digital signal processing (DSP) due to its high latency. These challenges will worsen as future wireless technologies adopt higher carrier frequencies and data rates. However, conventional DSPs, already on the brink of their clock frequency limit, are expected to offer only marginal speed advancements. This paper introduces a photonic processor to address dynamic interference through blind source separation (BSS). Our system-on-chip processor employs a fully integrated photonic signal pathway in the analogue domain, enabling rapid demixing of received mixtures and recovering the signal-of-interest in under 15 picoseconds. This reduction in latency surpasses electronic counterparts by more than three orders of magnitude. To complement the photonic processor, electronic peripherals based on field-programmable gate array (FPGA) assess the effectiveness of demixing and continuously update demixing weights at a rate of up to 305?Hz. This compact setup features precise dithering weight control, impedance-controlled circuit board and optical fibre packaging, suitable for handheld and mobile scenarios. We experimentally demonstrate the processor’s ability to suppress transmission errors and maintain signal-to-noise ratios in two scenarios, radar altimeters and mobile communications. This work pioneers the real-time adaptability of integrated silicon photonics, enabling online learning and weight adjustments, and showcasing practical operational applications for photonic processing.

Seamless Service Handover in UAV-based Mobile Edge Computing

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as drones, can carry high-performance computing devices (e.g., servers) to provide flexible and on-demand data processing services for theusers in the network edge, leading to the so-called mobile edge computing. In mobile edge computing, researchers have already explored how to optimize the computation offloading and the trajectory planning of UAVs, as well as how to perform the service handover when mobile users move from one location to another. However, there is one critical challenge that has been neglected in past research, which is the limited battery life of UAVs. On average, commercial-level drones only have a battery life of around 30 minutes to 2 hours. As a result, during operation, mobile edge computing carriers have to frequently deal with service handovers that require shifting users and their computing jobs from low-battery UAVs to new fully-charged UAVs. This is the first work that focuses on addressing this challenge with the goal of providing continuous and uninterrupted mobile edge computing service. In particular, we propose a seamless service handover system that achieves minimum service downtime when handling the duty shift between low-battery UAVs and new fullycharged UAVs. In addition, we propose a novel UAV dispatchalgorithm that provides guidelines about how to dispatch new fully-charged UAVs and where to retrieve low-battery UAVs, with the objective of maximizing UAVs’ service time. The effectiveness of the proposed service handover system and the proposed UAV dispatch algorithm is demonstrated through comprehensive simulations using a time-series event-driven simulator.

Long Term Monitoring and Analysis of Brood X Cicada Activity by Distributed Fiber Optic Sensing Technology

Brood X is the largest of the 15 broods of periodical cicadas, and individuals from this brood emerged across the Eastern United States in spring 2021. Using distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology, the activity of Brood X cicadas was monitored in their natural environment in Princeton, NJ. Critical information regarding their acoustic signatures and activity level is collected and analyzed using standard outdoor-grade telecommunication fiber cables. We believe these results have the potential to be a quantitative baseline for regional Brood X activity and pave the way for more detailed monitoring of insect populations to combat global insect decline. We also show that it is possible to transform readily available fiber optic networks into environmental sensors with no additional installation costs. To our knowledge, this is the first reported use case of a distributed fiber optic sensing system for entomological sciences and environmental studies.

Real-Time Photonic Blind Interference Cancellation

mmWave devices can broadcast multiple spatially-separated data streams simultaneously in order to increase data transfer rates. Data transfer can, however, be compromised by interference. Photonic blind interference cancellation systems offer a power-efficient means of mitigating interference, but previous demonstrations of such systems have been limited by high latencies and the need for regular calibration. Here, we demonstrate real-time photonic blind interference cancellation using an FPGA-photonic system executing a zero-calibration control algorithm. Our system offers a greater than 200-fold reduction in latency compared to previous work, enabling sub-second cancellation weight identification. We further investigate key trade-offs between system latency, power consumption, and success rate, and we validate sub-Nyquist sampling for blind interference cancellation. We estimate that photonic interference cancellation can reduce the power required for digitization and signal recovery by greater than 74 times compared to the digital electronic alternative.

Beyond Communication: Telecom Fiber Networks for Rain Detection and Classification

We present the field trial of an innovative neural network and DAS-based technique, employing a pre-trained CNN fine-tuning strategy for effective rain detection and classification within two practical scenarios.

Distributed Fiber-Optic Sensor as an Acoustic Communication Receiver Array

A novel acoustic transmission technique using distributed acoustic sensors is introduced. By choosing better incident angles for smaller fading and employing an 8- channel beamformer, over 10KB data is transmitted at a 6.4kbps data rate.

OFDM Signal Transmission Using Distributed Fiber-Optic Acoustic Sensing

Acoustic data transmission with the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) signal has been demonstrated using a Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS) based on Phase-sensitive Optical Time-Domain Reflectometry (?-OTDR).

Long Reach Fibre Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing using Enhanced Backscatter Fibre

We report significant noise reduction in distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) link using enhanced-scatter fibre (ESF). The longest reach of 195km DAS link without inline amplifications is also demonstrated. We further present demonstration of simultaneous fibre-optic sensing and 400Gb/s data transmissions over 195km fibre using ESF.

Field Trial of Coexistence and Simultaneous Switching of Real-Time Fiber Sensing and Coherent 400 GbE in a Dense Urban Environment

Field Trial of Coexistence and Simultaneous Switching of Real-Time Fiber Sensing and Coherent 400 GbE in a Dense Urban Environment Recent advances in optical fiber sensing have enabled telecom network operators to monitor their fiber infrastructure while generating new revenue in various application scenarios including data center interconnect, public safety, smart cities, and seismic monitoring. However, given the high utilization of fiber networks for data transmission, it is undesirable to allocate dedicated fiber strands solely for sensing purposes. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure the reliable coexistence of fiber sensing and communication signals that co-propagate on the same fiber. In this paper, we conduct field trials in a reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM) network enabled by the PAWR COSMOS testbed, utilizing metro area fibers in Manhattan, New York City. We verify the coexistence of real-time constant-amplitude distributed acoustic sensing (DAS), coherent 400 GbE, and analog radio-over-fiber (ARoF) signals. Measurement results obtained from the field trial demonstratethat the quality of transmission (QoT) of the coherent 400 GbE signal remains unaffected during co-propagation with DAS and ARoF signals in adjacent dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) channels. In addition, we present a use case of this coexistence system supporting preemptive DAS-informed optical path switching before link failure.

First Field Demonstration of Automatic WDM Optical Path Provisioning over Alien Access Links for Data Center Exchange

First Field Demonstration of Automatic WDM Optical Path Provisioning over Alien Access Links for Data Center Exchange We demonstrated under six minutes automatic provisioning of optical paths over field- deployed alien access links and WDM carrier links using commercial-grade ROADMs, whitebox mux-ponders, and multi-vendor transceivers. With channel probing, transfer learning, and Gaussian noise model, we achieved an estimation error (Q-factor) below 0.7 dB