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SAFARI Report Summary

Project ID: 642928
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SAFARI (Scalable And Flexible optical Architecture for Reconfigurable Infrastructure)

Reporting period: 2015-10-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

SAFARI (Scalable And Flexible optical Architecture for Reconfigurable Infrastructure): SAFARI is an EU-Japan coordinated R&D project funded by the European Commission and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), Japan.

Projects coordinators: Technical University of Denmark (DTU, DK), NTT Corporation (JP)
Partners: Technical University of Denmark (DTU, DK); University of Southampton (UOS, UK); Coriant R&D GmbH (DE); NTT Corporation (JP); Fujikura Ltd. (JP)
Duration: 10/2014 - 09/2017
Total cost: 1.5m € (EU), 225m JPY (1.67m €) (JP)
Programme: H2020-EUJ-2014

Context and motivation
Unrelenting exponential data traffic growth and bandwidth intensive applications are creating an urgent demand for highly scalable & flexible optical transport networks (OTNs). SAFARI will realise such optical transport by developing programmable optical hardware and Space-Division Multiplexing (SDM)-based optical component technologies.

Today’s digital coherent optical transport technologies based on digital signal processing (DSP) have allowed the commercial realisation of 100 Gbps/channel long-haul transport systems capable of providing more than 8 Tbps capacity per fibre in installed commercial networks. However, capacity demands are ever increasing, and to address those requirements in the near future, it becomes indispensable to introduce various types of transport flexibility. Such flexibility will be enabled by progress in DSP functionality in conjunction with flexible optical hardware. Control technologies to manage flexible hardware and transport will thus be urgently needed to provide telecom-carrier-grade reliability for the future OTNs with capacity beyond 10 Tbps.

SAFARI aims to develop programmable optical hardware, and SDM-based optical components capable of realising highly scalable and flexible OTNs. Specifically SAFARI will:
-Develop programmable optical hardware allowing novel multi-flow transport functions which is scalable to at least 400 Gbps/channel transport, and implement the critical interworking capability required between the software-defined network (SDN) layer and the physical layer.
-Develop SDM-based optical transport technology based on super-dense, high-count multicore fibres (MCFs) and multicore erbium-doped optical fibre amplifiers (MC-EDFAs).
-Undertake system experiments on scalable and flexible OTNs based on the technology developed within the project. Specific attention will be focussed on demonstrating that the SDN-controlled programmability developed is compatible with both existing single-mode-fibre transmission systems and future SDM-based systems, allowing for a graceful upgrade scenario.
-Bring together major organisations in both the EU nations and Japan in order to develop the most advanced enabling technologies, to demonstrate their feasibility in an international setting, and to jointly contribute to international standardisation and forum activities.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

DTU and NTT organized three plenary meetings, organized one workshop and 14 teleconferences updating progress among partners during the second year. The project generated 3 postdeadline papers at OFC 2016, CLEO 2016 and ECOC 2016, achieving several world records, 9 conference papers, 5 technical reports and 6 journal papers during the period.

NTT investigated the transmission performance of a 51.4-km 32-core MCF fabricated by Fujikura. A dense SDM transmission experiment over 1600-km was successfully demonstrated. NTT also tested the transmission performance of the first 32-core EDFA inline amplifier fabricated by the UOS, and confirmed the fundamental operation with either PDM QPSK format or PDM 16QAM format. NTT has started discussion with all the partners on the possible configuration of the testbed setup incorporating the 32-core-MCFs, 32-core EDFAs, XT monitor, and transponders.

Fujikura designed and fabricated two long-length (>50 km) 32-core fibres with total XT less than -24 dB/1000 km in the C-band. They also presented an invited paper on high-count MCFs. At the same time they have also developed a new XT measurement method employing a near-infrared camera, which can reduce time and effort needed for measuring the XT of high core count multicore fibres.

DTU evaluated the heterogeneous 30-core fibre and tested its feasibility by making a661 Tbit/s transmission experiment using a single source. They also published two journal papers “Design of Homogeneous Trench-Assisted Multi-Core Fibers Based on Analytical Model” and “Novel Crosstalk Measurement Method for Multi-Core Fiber Fan-In/Fan-Out Devices”.

Southampton built and packaged two 7-core MC-EDFAs and they are now being used in transmission experiments at Coriant over distances in excess of 2000km. In addition they produced a world first 32-core, cladding-pumped EDFA. The amplifier was transported to NTT where it was used in an amplified transmission experiment over 114km of MCF. Note that they developed passive MCF isolators for use in the various amplifiers they built. They are now working to improve the core-to-core gain variation and to build further 32-core units for use in the final systems test bed and associated trials.

Coriant has completed work on the abstraction layer in WP 3 and designed appropriate interfaces to the physical layer, in cooperation with NTT. A YANG data models to cater for the control of network elements and transponders in the SAFARI context has been defined. In addition, transmission experiments with looped 7-core fibre provided by Fujikura and 7-core EDFAs provided by UOS have been completed, achieving transmission distances of 2500 km for 100G QPSK and 720 km for 200G 16QAM in the C-band.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

In the second year, we have planned and constructed a long-distance transmission experimental setup based on a long-length and a high-core-count single-mode multicore fibre (HCC-SM-MCF) that is longer than 50 km, and has more than 32 single-mode cores within a reliable cladding diameter of < 250 um. The SAFARI project has successfully demonstrated a 32-core dense space division multiplexed (DSDM) long-distance transmission exceeding 1600 km, and presented the results at the OFC2016 postdeadline session. As a result, the SAFARI concept has now penetrated into the academic SDM system research community. Moreover, a 32-core multicore Erbium-Ytterbium-doped fibre amplifier (EYDFA) has been realized for the first time, and a transmission experiment with the in-line 32-core amplifier has been demonstrated and presented at the ECOC2016 postdeadline session from the SAFARI project, establishing world records well beyond the state of art.

The new technology is ultimately expected to deliver improved broadband services (faster, more reliable, increased functionality) which will benefit commerce and the general public alike. It is also likely to find uses in many other sectors reliant on optical fibres including for improved sensor systems (used in many environmental monitoring applications, the discovery and monitoring of oil reserves, medicine etc.), and the development of higher power industrial lasers (used in a host of manufacturing processes, surgery etc.).

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