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Wideband Optical Networks

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WON (Wideband Optical Networks)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-12-31

ETN WON “Wideband Optical Network” is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network funded by the European Commission under Grant Agreement 814276. WON provides training to 14 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in the unexploited area of wideband optical networks through the synergy of highly qualified academic and industrial institutions in Europe. WON covers various topics and expertise from the design and development of photonic components, novel digital signal processing algorithms and system modelling to network and control management.
WON’s overall research objective is to train a new generation of researchers in three main areas: i) network management and control plane algorithms; ii) design, prototyping and test of transceiver and in-line components; iii) digital signal processing techniques and system modelling.

Solutions identified within WON will enable full exploitation of the total capacity of optical fibres to sustain efficiently the Internet traffic growth and to overcome a possible traffic-crunch. A special focus of the research is dedicated to developing novel digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms to increase the overall system performance. WON will provide cost effective and realistic solutions to current bandwidth saturation, which is progressively impairing already deployed networks.
All WPs have made excellent progress in the 24 months, as detailed below:

WP1: Network management: planning and control
Substantial progress has been achieved in WP1 in the scope of research objective RO1, which aims at developing network and control planning solutions to efficiently handle and manage the broad spectrum enabled by WON. The main limiting transmission effects in wideband systems have been identified, namely the frequency dependent fibre parameters and the Stimulated Raman Scattering. A spatially and spectrally disaggregated model for NLI generation within optical networks has been derived and assessed. Machine learning (ML) has been also considered in the scope of wideband networks. ML has been used to predict the best operating points in terms of atness, relative intensity noise, free spectral range and driving voltages for lasers and modulators focusing on multiband transmission.

WP2: Digital signal processing and system modelling
In the area of digital pre-compensation techniques for wideband networks substantial results have been obtained in designing of optical transceivers for multiband systems, an autonomous pre-distortion scheme using cognitive algorithms, and utilization of C-band transceivers in multiband systems. The activities in WP2 progress in close collaboration with WP1. In the area of analytical transmission modelling for wideband systems the activities proceeded in parallel exploiting theoretical development and split-step simulations. The model assessment for multichannel as well as single channel effects has been addressed in numerous publications. In the area of optimal transmission techniques for wideband systems, progress has been made in the investigation on the optimization of per band launched power to maximize capacity and optimize the feasible transmission rate per band.

WP3: In-line components design
Work on wideband optical amplifiers has been progressed by ESR8 and ESR11. A complete characterisation of the BDFA operating in the O- and E-bands, from 1370-1490nm, in terms of gain, noise figure (NF) and achievable output power has been finalised and reported at conference and in a journal publication, together with a comparative study of forward, backward, and bidirectional pumping schemes. Work on wideband filters and switches has been progressed by ESR9 and ESR10, with the investigation of multiband filters and the demonstration of a multiband wavelength selective switch (WSS). An extensive set of simulations of filters and wavelength (de-) multiplexers based on photonics integrated echelle gratings (IEGs) has been conducted.

WP4: Transceiver components design
A novel transmitter impairment estimation and compensation technique developed and validated by ESR12 was published in a conference paper. Additionally, ESR6 investigated the feasibility of employing standard coherent transceivers for operation in the S-band (down to 1460 nm). Based on back-to-back experimental data he applied a standard receiver-side DSP chain with focus on transmitter and receiver imbalances, which are expected to be dominant for operation outside the C-band. ESR13 established and verified a simulation of sub-wavelength grating structure MMIs in Indium Phosphide (InP).

WP5: Innovative personal career training
In the first 24 months ESRs received high quality training on the skills required for a successful future career both in academia and industry.

WP6: Dissemination, exploitation and outreach
The Consortium has accomplished various dissemination and outreach activities in the reporting period, and disseminated main achievements through workshops, symposia, presentations and publication of results in scientific journals and conferences.

WP7-8: Management and governance/Ethics
The project management was efficient, dedicated and committed. In the first 24 months the Consortium established a solid platform for a successful project and further fruitful collaboration.
Current technology of Fibre-optic networks is based on single-mode transmission over the optical C-band only (1530 nm – 1565 nm). To cope with the previous foreword, several solutions have been proposed to overcome the bandwidth limitations of existing optical systems, thus avoiding the scenario of a capacity crunch in optical networks, which could thereby seriously hamper the growth of our communication-based economy. So far, the proposed space-division multiplexing solutions have the potential to significantly increase the available fibre capacity, but imply the deployment of new fibres, which represents the highest cost in the realization of optical links. Recently, members of WON co-organized a workshop on the topic at the most important conference in our sector.
WON supports the concept of unlocking the so far untapped wavelength bands of single-mode fibre (SMF), believing this is a realistic alternative intermediate-term solution to cope with the exponentially growing capacity demand, SMF has been widely deployed, particularly in Europe, and since the beginning of the millennium, telecom operators have mainly employed high quality fibres such as ITU-T G.652D fibres, which do not present any water peak and thus could enable signal transmission from the optical O- to L-band (1260 nm-1625 nm) resulting in a 10× bandwidth increase compared to C-band systems The clear value proposition of the WON solution is the re-use of installed fibre thus preventing customers from enormous deployment costs for new fibres while allowing network operators smooth upgrades to cope with the expected demand explosion.
In this respect, the WON solution aims to be modular and thus implementable as pay-as-you-grow. Furthermore, there is a clear trend towards supporting wideband transmission in the industry. The first silicon photonics modulators/receivers operating from O- to L-band have been shown. Furthermore, recent transmission experiments have set new records for SMF such as 51.5 Tb/s over 17,107 km in C+L-band and 115 Tb/s over 100 km in S-, C- and L-band.
ETN WON 1st Year Workshop at Aston University, 26 February 2020
ETN WON 1st Year Workshop at Aston University, 26 February 2020
ETN WON Introduction workshop at Infinera Germany, 18-19 November 2019, Munich
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