Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT) has a wide range of research interests across several key areas including: Optical Communications, Nonlinear Signal Processing, Optical Sensing, Ultrafast Lasers, Fibre Lasers, Nanomaterial Photonics and Biomedical Photonics.
In this talk we will review some of these key research activities, focusing on the activities of the Optical Communications Group, where some of the key activities include high capacity long-haul transmission, novel amplification technologies (including Raman and parametric amplification), nonlinear signal manipulation (e.g. Optical phase conjugation and digital back propagation) and multi-mode transmission solutions (e.g. multi-mode fibre nonlinearity and advanced MIMO).
Currently we are facing a bottle-neck in the physical layer of the optical communications network where the amount of capacity that a single mode fibre can deliver is close to its predicted maximum. Failing to increase the capacity per optical core would result in an increase in total energy use and cost-per-bit transmitted. This would require a radical overhaul of how the current cost model works and would have negative socio-economic consequences. Several groups, along with AIPT are looking to overcome this bottleneck by investigating several new optical technologies and revisiting the potential use of older technologies in a modern context. This talk will look at some of the solutions that AIPT are currently investigating along with an overview of the key challenges that require new technologies.