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Optical Networking & Sensing

From the Internet backbone to the home, optics and photonics form the foundation of modern ICT infrastructure.

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Department Description

From the Internet backbone to the home, optics and photonics form the foundation of modern ICT infrastructure.  In the optical networking and sensing department, 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 to come.  From forward-looking theoretical studies, to cutting edge experiments, to world- and industry- first technology field trials, we deliver globally recognized innovation that looks into the future and translates it into present reality.

Featured research project background

Featured Research Projects

Agile DSP-Based Optical Transmission Systems

With exponential traffic growth projected from mobile and cloud applications, optical networks powering the Internet backbone will require orders-of-magnitude transmission capacity gains. At the core of our innovation in this area are agile digital signal processing (DSP)-based approaches, including digital Nyquist spectral shaping, DSP-based nonlinearity compensation and advanced soft-decision forward error correction (FEC) that optimize spectrum utilization, maximize transmission reach and provide data rate flexibility. Our recent world-leading achievements in this area include the first real-time transmission of a 1Tb/s Nyquist superchannel over 7,200km using only erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) repeaters, proving that an ultra high-speed 1Tb/s optical superchannel can have transoceanic reach.


Multidimensional Optical Processing

After setting the standing 100Tb/s world record for the transmission capacity of a single-mode optical fiber deployed in current networks, we are now leading a forward-looking investigation of the transmission-capacity potential of multidimensional optical processing and coded modulation in space division multiplexed (SDM) optical transmission systems, wherein different spatial modes in a single fiber can be used as parallel data channels to increase aggregate transmission capacity. By employing all available degrees of freedom in an SDM system using few mode fiber (FMF), our novel multidimensional processing and coded modulation designs span a multidimensional signal space, featuring in-phase, quadrature, spatial mode and dual polarization coordinates, notably outperforming conventional approaches. We are also investigating advanced SDM optical components, including amplifiers, switches and filters, for efficient parallelized multidimensional signal transmission. Our world-class achievements in this area include record-breaking 1.05 Petabit/s (1,015 bits per second) SDM transmission over novel multicore fiber with 12 single-mode and two few-mode cores.


Optics & Photonics for Social ICT

The high-speed, high-precision, energy-efficient nature of optics and photonics makes it ideally suited for next-generation ICT-based social solutions that drive societal well-being and efficiency. With our world-leading academic partners, we are investigating state-of-the-art optics and photonics for social value innovations, including safety and security solutions and environmental sensing.