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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T009012/1
Title: High Dimensional Wireless Passive Optical Networking for Access Deployment (PON-HD)
Principal Investigator: Lavery, Professor MPJ
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Engineering
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 March 2020 Ends: 30 September 2024 Value (£): 730,355
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Digital Signal Processing Networks & Distributed Systems
Optical Communications Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Sep 2019 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel September 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
By 2035, a challenge has been set for the UK to have "full-fibre" deployment across the entire country providing 1Gbps internet connectivity. British Telecom's Openreach division is responsible for achieving this ambitious target. However, deploying optical fibre has huge infrastructure costs that, in many areas, could be not economically viable due to terrain, low population density or land rights issues. After comprehensive analyses of the UK's communications network, BT has identified critical areas in the network where FTTP would be challenging, and expensive to deploy. Achieving this goal sustainably, will require new technology that can reduce the costs of deployment in rural areas, and assure network resilience.

In this project, we will develop Free-space optical (FSO) solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into Passive Optical Networks (PON) to provide network access to customers in rural and urban areas that will not be serviced by fibre to the property (FTTP). FSO optical systems can provide higher capacity then radio systems, however deployment has four main technical challenges, (1) stringent alignment requirements, (2) Adversely effected by atmospheric turbulence, (3) Power Loss due to fog and scattering particulates in the air, and (4) Seamless network integration.

In this project we will resolve these long standing challenges by pioneering new technologies for broadband amplifiers for long distance free-space extension of XGSPON, dynamic optical beam shaping to overcoming turbulent affects in FSO propagation, develop novel error correction codes for PON systems, and produce a self-aligning FSO prototype that can be installed into the BT network in less than 30mins. Providing these new connections will require both point-to-point (p2p) links and point-to-multipoint (p2mp) links to service rural areas, and dynamic optical mesh networks for more urban areas. Such, areas could be addressed with high capacity FSO links to provide optical connection from exchanges to local cabinets, direct to the property deployment and emergency link deployment for cable cut situations. Our FSO system will be extended to overcome fibre failure in both the back-haul and core networks increase resilience in the optical network as a whole.

The technology we will develop has broad application beyond the extension of PON into free-space. Firstly, our amplification technology will have immediate usage for enabling long-reach PON and be used for the amplification of space division multiplexing in fibre, which is a hot topic in the fibre optical communications community. Secondly, our all-optical-mimo technology will have application in a range of optical sensor and communication technologies including: Lidar, Quantum Key Distribution, advanced endoscopy imaging system, remote environmental sensing and many others. Thirdly, our novel digital signal processing techniques will have application in for a wide range of communication systems.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.gla.ac.uk