Optical communications

Key research areas

  • Optical signal regeneration
  • Quasi-lossless transmission techniques
  • Ultra-long Raman-assisted  transmission technologies
  • Advanced modelling of high-speed fibre transmission systems
  • Spatial multiplexing
  • Optical Access Networks

Possible applications

  • Core telecom network design
  • Optical routing and switching
  • Optical Access network optimisation

In more details


An ideal transmission medium that could allow the nonmodified transfer of information from a transmitter to a receiver is the ultimate and likely unreachable dream of telecommunications.

In practice, any real transmission medium introduces distortions into the signal that can be either recoverable (e.g., dispersive broadening) or not fully removable (e.g., noise). Optical fiber waveguides are an example of a medium with numerous attractive features such as low loss, large bandwidth, and low cost. Despite the reduced loss, optical fiber transmission takes place over extremely long distances, requiring periodic signal amplification, which introduces noise. An adequate combination of classical optical fiber technology with novel techniques might further improve the properties of the transmission medium. We discuss and demonstrate the possibility of creating transmission media with cross-domain (spatial and spectral) transparency (effective zero local attenuation across the plane) and reduced noise by applying ultralong Raman fiber laser technology. 

  • Quasi-losses transmission regime;
    - Fully distributed amplification  minimises noise
  • Increased gain bandwidth
  • Turnable  gain wavelength and bandwidth
  • Ultra-long lasers;
    - Ultra dense  frequency combs
  • Random lasers;
    - Cavityless lasing: simple configuration
  • Supercontinuum generation:
    - Increased efficiency
    - Low cost using telecom fibres

  • Nonlinear pulse processing;
    - Generation of non-Gaussian optical pulses
    - Triangular pulses
    - All optical wavelength switching & routing
  • Optical phase conjunction;   
    - All optical compensation of linear and nonlinear transmission impairments 
  • EPSRC funded research;
    - Fundamentally new nonlinear information technologies for optimisation of fibre  capacity
  • Oclaro: Telecoms applications of ultra-long Raman fibre lasers
  • Rostelecom: Advanced Raman amplifiers for single span applications
  • Other recent collaborations: France Telecom (Orange), Azea Networks, Xtera, Ericsson, BT, Nortel

Key people

Prof. Andrew Ellis, Prof. Nick DoranProf. Keith Blow, Prof. David Payne

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