OPTIMUM - Optical signal processing in multimode fibers

Co-funded by Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Duration: March 2018 - February 2020


Fiber optic networks - the backbone of society and future industries. The rapid development of network-based services, as well as the increasing interconnectedness of production processes pose a major challenge in terms of the required capacity and flexibility in communication networks. Today's commercial systems are increasingly approaching the capacity limits of single-mode optical fibers. Optical signal processing is based on the influence of a data signal by an optical control signal within an optically transparent material. So far only single-mode waveguides are used, where the data and control signal must share the available frequency spectrum.

The aim of the OPTIMUM project is to increase the transmission range and capacity of optical systems by using optical signal processing in conjunction with multi-mode waveguides (MMW). OPTIMUM will use the extra degree of freedom of the different modes of MMW to select the frequencies of data signal and control signal for conversion of complex data signals by efficient non-linear optical signal processing. OPTIMUM opens up the new field of optical signal processing by means of MMW for numerous applications in optical communication systems.

OPTIMUM - tremendous benefits for society. Information and communication technology has fundamentally changed all areas of life in recent years. Optical communication networks handle most of the data traffic. However, disruptive innovation is needed to push capacity limits further and to enable stable growth of our communication infrastructure in the future. This is exactly where the OPTIMUM project comes in to significantly increase capacity. In addition, the new findings will enable new innovative applications and products in other application areas of photonics, such as sensor technology, medical technology or material processing.