Project title: Exploiting Machine learning for the design of Space Division Multiplexed Optical Channels (EndSpace)
Host Institution: Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
Host Supervisor: Dr Chigo Okonkwo
Co-host Institution: Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
Co-host Supervisor: Prof. Darko Zibar
Summary project: The fundamental capacity limit is being approached for the standard single-mode fibres (defined by Claude Shannon in 1948). Driven by bandwidth-hungry applications and new 5G scenarios, IP traffic continues to grow unabated. As a response, various dimensionality for transporting data have been exploited, including high-order modulation formats, polarization division multiplexing techniques, technological improvements, and enhanced digital signal processing. After nearly exhausting all these possibilities, the spatial dimension is considered the ultimate solution: Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM), enabling transmission of multiple channels in parallel by using multicore and multimode fibres. The capacity unlocked by SDM systems comes at the expense of new impairments and larger technological complexity. Before any practical SDM deployment, these concerns must be addressed by the development of innovative equalisation techniques and integrated SDM components, such as SDM transceivers and amplifiers.
ENDSPACE will adopt first Machine Learning (ML) algorithms for SDM amplifier design targeting <1 dB mode-dependent loss, lower than the current 4 dB. Next, SDM channel modelling and estimation using ML will be developed to maximise channel capacity, implementing novel impairment mitigation methods. The goal of our interdisciplinary approach is the development of end-to-end SDM system optimisation based on ML, maximising the bandwidth-distance product of SDM systems. This fellowship is to be carried out at state-of-art laboratories in 2 EuroTech universities with a secondment planned at NICT Japan. The synergy between these universities and NICT will be crucial for potentially demonstrating the capacity of optical transmission beyond single-mode towards multicore and multimode optical transmission in the field.