Global optical networks

April 28, 2000

(Photograph) - Researchers at the University of Southampton are using European funding to developways of doubling bandwidth in next-generation global optical networks. Beth Taylor, Bill Brocklesby and Johan Nilsson, at the Optoelectronics Research Centre are working on Project Lobster (Large, Optical Bandwidth by Amplifier Systems Based on Tellurite Fibres Doped with Rare Earths). The work has received almost Pounds 500,000 funding from the European Union Information Societies Technology programme. The enabling technology for optical-fibre transmission systems is the erbium-doped sliica fibre amplifier (EDFA) which was invented by scientists at the Optoelectronics Research Centre. The team hopes to achieve even greater bandwidth using alternative glass materials and new dopants to fabricate an optical amplifier device capable of amplifying light signals over a bandwidth more than twice that now covered by the EDFA. Details: www.orc.soton.ac.uk. Photograph by STONE.

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