Wireless communication systems will soon enter a new era, driven by new technologies (in particular 5G) and new applications (e.g., autonomous driving and virtual reality), putting more stress on the Internet´s fiber backbone. Long-haul fiber-optical communication links connect countries and continents with extremely high data rates (over terabits per second). As in any communication system, the design and implementation of the receiver is far more complex than the transmitter. Over the years, receivers were developed to first of all be simple and only later refined to improve performance. The ultimate step in such improvement lies in the integration of all physical dimensions of an optical fiber, namely time, frequency, space, quadrature, and polarization. So-far, the integration of the frequency component has not been explored, as different frequency channels were excited by separate laser sources. Now that these separate lasers are being replaced with optical frequency combs, it is time to consider joint processing across all physical dimensions. This is what this project will do. If successfull, our approach will lead to improved receiver performance (at an increase computational complexity), or relax system requirements. We will study the trade-offs involved along the dimensions of performance, complexity, and requirements.
The project is closed: 31/12/2021