MCTechs - Multicore fibers technologies for high-capacity Optical Networks is a national R&D project that aims to develop and produce innovative Long Period Grating (LPG) based passive and tunable core/wavelength selective switches and couplers for Multicore Space division multiplexing (SDM). The project has a duration of 3 years, from 15/05/2018 until 14/05/2021.
In addition to a team with extensive knowledge and expertise expertise in all relevant scientific fields, such as optical communication and fiber gratings, MCTechs will relies with the international collaboration of NICT (Japan) a world leader institution in the field of MCF transmission systems that will provide consultancy and advice.
SDM over MCF has been proven to be the ideal solution to deal with the demand for higher capacity. However, the cost-effectiveness of these systems will depend on the development of several compatible components; the production of core/wavelength selective multicore (MC) switches and couplers will pave the way to a practical Reconfigurable Optical Add Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) and efficient optical amplifiers.
The MCTechs main goal is to develop and produce novel component designs to support coupling/switching of each wavelength from each input core to the corresponding cores of the output. The design will be based in the long period grating (LPG) technique.
1. Design and produce pump couplers (SMF to MCF coupler) for MC amplifiers, that are able to distribute and sharing a single pump source by all the cores of a MCF.
2. Design and produce core/wavelength selective multicore coupler/switches (MCF to MCF coupler), able to support routing of any wavelength from any input core to any output core.
3. Develop, optimize and produce tunable attenuators and components for gain equalization.
4. Tunable core/wavelength selective multicore Switches.
5. Experimental evaluation of the proposed solutions with the presentation of prototypes
MCTechs is organized in three technical work packages (WPs) plus two additional WPs, one devoted to the project management and other one devoted to dissemination and exploitation. The solutions developed in WP2 and 3 in will be tested experimentally and assessed in real scenario transmission setups in WP4.
This work is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER), through the Competitiveness and Internationalization Operational Programme (COMPETE 2020) of the Portugal 2020 framework and Financial Support National Public (FCT)(OE);