Fiber Optic for Data Transmission

July 2nd, 2015 by

Researchers from the University of California at San Diego have developed a system that could provide a two- and four-fold increase in data transmission capacity for fiber optic cables, which are often used for the internet, and landline networks. The new system addresses the Kerr effect, which is the distortion of optical signals that travel on optical fibers over distances. The Kerr effect often requires the laser in fiber optic cable to be amplified and regenerated at regular distances in order to avoid transmission errors, but this is costly and limits transmission rates. The researchers have developed wideband frequency combs, which reduce or eliminate signal corruption between multiple streams traveling through the optical fiber. Crosstalk within a fiber optic cable follows fixed physical laws. The researchers developed a method for leveraging the crosstalk to remove the power barrier for optical fiber. It conditions the information before it is sent, so the receiver is free of crosstalk caused by the Kerr effect. In lab experiments, the researchers successfully deciphered information after it traveled 12,000 kilometers with standard amplifiers and no repeaters.