Chalmers University of Technology has conducted research in optical communications since the mid seventies, when the work was started by Prof. Sverre Eng. Currently there are three research groups that work within this topic. First to be founded was the Optoelectronics Group, headed by Prof. Anders Larsson, which was formed in 1991.
In the following two years, the Fibre-Optics Group lead by Prof. Peter Andrekson and the Communication Systems Group led by Prof. Arne Svensson, were both founded. The first two groups have worked with optical research with emphasis on hardware and experiments, and the third has focused on communication theory. The interdisciplinary collaboration between the groups can be traced back to a coffee break discussion between Prof. Erik Agrell and Prof. Magnus Karlsson. They found that they both were puzzled by the fact that advanced digital communication theory is virtually absent in the development of optical communications. Communication theorists tended to focus on wireless applications and the progress in fibre-optical communications relied largely on hardware improvements.
This discussion led to informal interdisciplinary collaboration between the Department of Signals and Systems and the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience. The first funding application was then filed and approved in 2003. This resulted in a pilot study, which confirmed the potential for groundbreaking research in the borderlands between photonics and digital communication theory. Since then, the endeavour has expanded steadily with more people, more funding sources, and a broadening research scope.
Since May 2010, the research environment is formally organized as a research centre. The name is FORCE, which is an abbreviation of Fibre Optic Communications Research Centre. The cluster presently involves about 20 researchers whereof 4 professors, with funding from SSF, VINNOVA, VR, and the EU. The collaboration bridges traditional discipline boundaries and includes the whole chain from components to systems, from analysis to experiments.
FORCE is open to everyone that has interest in contributing and we expect this to lead to interesting new ideas and collaborations. Furthermore, FORCE is involved in both short-term industry-oriented research and long-term research of fundamental nature. A specific purpose of the centre is to obtain larger visibility, in order to make FORCE a meeting place for researchers, students, and companies.
Last modified: January 19, 2011
Responsible for this page: Erik Agrell