Optoscribe and Sumitomo Electric Deliver Field Testbed for MCF Communications

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Optoscribe, a supplier of 3D glass-based integrated photonics components, and Sumitomo Electric Industries, an optical fiber cable manufacturing technology supplier, have teamed with the University of L’Aquila (UnivAQ) in Italy on a research project to help strengthen the telecommunications infrastructure of the city of L'Aquila.

The companies are working to deploy a multicore fiber (MCF) testbed for space-division multiplexed (SDM) communications in a real-field environment. 

As part of this project, Optoscribe’s fan-in/fan-out devices convert between multiple standard single-mode fibers and Sumitomo Electric’s MCFs. The use of MCF can increase the amount of data transferred across the optical fiber while minimizing space. 

MCF is optical fiber with multiple cores in a glass cladding and is considered one of the most promising SDM transmission technologies to overcome the limitations of the conventional single-core fiber communication systems.

SDM is a method for multiplexing signals using multiple spatial channels in optical fiber. Various fiber structures have been proposed to this end, including MCFs, where the fiber cores are used as spatial channels, and few mode fibers, where the fiber modes are used as spatial channels.

The initiative is part of the ongoing rebuilding efforts following an earthquake in the region of Abruzzo in central Italy. The main shock occurred on April 6, 2009, and was rated 5.8 or 5.9 on the Richter magnitude scale and 6.3 on the moment magnitude scale.

Over 6 km of MCF cable have been installed, the majority of which are located in a walkable multiservice underground tunnel as part of an optical ring, the experimental optical network for INCIPICT (Innovating City Planning through Information and Communications Technologies), which was led by UnivAQ, and funded by the Italian government.

The MCF testbed will be used to host a wide range of research and development activities in the broad field of optical communications, and specifically in the area of SDM transmission over MCFs.

These activities include device testing, transmissions, and software-defined networking, in conjunction with the ongoing trial of 5G.

Published: June 2019
BusinessEuropeOptoscribeSumitomoMulti-core fiberSpace-division multiplexed transmissiontestbedfiber opticsCommunicationsAsia-Pacificlight speedEuro News

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