Research Associate in Energy Efficient Communication Using Combs

Birmingham, United Kingdom
£33,199 to £39,609 per annum
04 Feb 2019
End of advertisement period
17 Mar 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Engineering & Applied Science

Location:      Aston University Main Campus
Salary:      £33,199 to £39,609 per annum
Grade:      Grade 08
Contract Type:      Fixed Term (36 Months)
Basis:      Full Time
Closing Date:      23.59 hours GMT on Sunday 17 March 2019
Interview Date:      Tuesday 26 March 2019

The Aston institute of Photonic Technologies (AiPT) is the oldest photonic communications research group in the UK. It was founded on the unique combination of advanced fibre grating based devices with state of the art optical communications research. The successful applicant will benefit from full scale experimental, computing, and office resources and facilities to their project a success including a fully equipped system research laboratory, including 400Gb/s test beds, high speed electronic test equipment including 70 GHz real time oscilloscopes, high resolution spectrum analysers, WDM recirculating loops. Simulations will initially be performed on a local 220 core computing cluster whilst large scale simulations will be performed on the ARCHER high performance computer.

The remarkable success of the internet is unquestioned, touching all aspects of our daily lives and commerce. This success is fundamentally underpinned by the tremendous capacity of unseen underground and undersea optical fibre cables and the technologies associated with them. Indeed, the initial surge in web usage in the mid-1990s coincides with the commissioning of the first optically amplified transatlantic cable network, TAT12/13 allowing ready access to information otherwise inaccessible. In parallel with the consistent exponential increase (quadrupling every 4 years) in broadband access rates, optical transceivers used in the core of the communications network have typically grown in bandwidth at the same rate, excepting a small and temporary downturn associated with the introduction of coherent technologies. Today, just as broadband demands begin to outstrip the capabilities of the incumbent technology (twisted pair copper cables) requiring new technology (optical fibre) to be deployed, bandwidth demands in the core network are exceeding the capabilities of single carrier modulation. In this project we will develop low cost all optical techniques to continue to expand the bandwidth of the transceivers which power the internet. Our all optical solution based on optical frequency combs, integrated photonics and advanced digital signal processing has the potential to be compact, suiting applications both within data centres and within the core international networks. The solution will address important challenges at such high bandwidths, such as synchronisation, noise and digital signal processing. If successful EEMC2 will deliver a transponder with more than an order of magnitude more capacity than those commercially available.

The successful candidate will join an established team within the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies under the supervision of Professor Andrew Ellis, and will carry out research in purpose-built photonics research facilities at Aston University. They will develop advanced ultra-high capacity optical receivers, addressing limitations of resolution and sampling frequency with novel optical solutions. They will demonstrate the performance benefits of this receiver, and the transmitter developed by our project partner, Dublin City University, in realistic test scenarios including extended tests during secondments to partner institutions. The post is currently offered for a maximum period of 36 months, renewable to a maximum total duration of 48 months.

Applicants for this position should have – a first class honours degree in electronic engineering, applied physics or related subject, a PhD in a field allied to nonlinear optical fibre device development or equivalent industrial experience in the photonic communications industry, technical skills appropriate to the development and communication system testing of high performance receivers and would be free to travel throughout the European Economic Area.