The research area works on numerical modelling, design and experimental realizations of innovative system solutions, including propagation effects. It covers optical fiber communications and the rapidly emerging area of optical wireless communications.
The area has a long experience in fiber systems, also gained in industrial context. The research team has been active in optical system and subsystem developments for both core and access networks. In this field, it took part in various EU-sponsored projects, including one (FP7-COCONUT), of which it was the coordinator. In this area, the researchers also realized several innovative demonstrations of all-optical processing functionalities.
In the last ten years, the area has expanded its research interest to optical wireless communications. It organized and hosted the ever-first demonstration of a 1.2 Terabit/s (32x40 Gbit/s) free space optical system, in outdoor environment. In the following it made several break-through demonstrations of visible-light communications (VLC), showing the first Gbit-class system made of a common LED and the first WDM-LED link. In this area it also demonstrated underwater VLC in a real harbour, using its home-made VLC modems. Recently, it is deeply involved in developing intra-spacecraft terminals by using OWC in the infrared region, these terminals are today being tested in a real spacecraft. It is also strongly involved in the merging area of OWC for inter-satellite communications and for deep space. Most of these activities are carried out within the framework of Hydron initiative run by ESA.
Key Recent Projects
- Concluded: FP7-COCONUT (coordinator), PRIN ROAD-NGN, EU-ITN INFIERI
- On-going: ESA TOWS (Transmission of Optical Wireless Signals for telecom spacecrafts) (coordinator), ESA Hydron Phase-A, ESA Hydron Symuled, ESA Lunar, ASI FOCS (Free Space Optical communications for Satellites); coordinator