Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya

ANNUAL REPORT 2013

Optical Networks and Systems Lab.

The Optical Networks and Systems Laboratory is equipped with appropriate facilities for the experimental activities mainly conducted within the common framework provided by ADRENALINE testbed ®. Thereby, it is possible to evaluate the service levels seen by the client layers of an optical infrastructure of a dynamic wavelength switched optical network (WSON), in order to obtain meaningful performance data (e.g., packet loss, delay, BER). To this end, dedicated broadband testing equipment can be configured to generate and correlate a wide range of optical client interfaces. In the ONS laboratory, there is dedicated optical network test and measurement equipment, with features such as IP traffic generation and analysis over 10/100 Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) and STM-16 interfaces, or GigE plus 10GBit interfaces, with GMPLS/MPLS network emulation and protocol testing.

Physical layer degradations can be modelled, measured and quantified with optical communication test and measurement equipment also available in the laboratory (Fig. 1), such as a communications signal analyzer (up to 20 GSa/s, with 4 GHz bandwidth, provided with optical and electrical inputs), a digital sampling oscilloscope (up to 13.5 Gb/s with 9 GHz optical/20 GHz electrical sampling module), an optical spectrum analyzer (with dense wavelength division multiplexing analysis, DWDM, for a wavelength range between 600 and 1750 nm), some tunable laser sources (covering S+C+L bands, providing up to 10 dBm output power), a dual wavelength laser light source (of 1310 and/or 1550 nm), a portable optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR, with two wavelengths of 1310 nm and 1550 nm), a high-performance optical multimeter (with variable optical attenuator and high power sensor modules), some optical power meters (for 850, 1300, 1310, 1490, and 1550 nm), a polarization scrambler, polarization mode dispersion (PMD, using the interferometric method) and chromatic dispersion (CD, using phase-shift method) analyzers, a broadband source (C and L bands, useful as a PMD/CD analyzer source), and a fixed PMD emulator (1, 5 and 10 ps). Belonging to this category, there is additional equipment in the laboratory intended for the development of an Experimental platform for Optical OFDM Systems (EOS), within the ADRENALINE testbed®: on one hand, an arbitrary waveform generator (up to 24 GSa/s, 9.6 GHz effective RF frequency output, and 7.5 GHz analog bandwidth) provides an analog signal (from a digital one) to be modulated and transmitted on an optical link; on the other hand, the received signal is photo-detected and amplified by an 18+ GHz InGaAs PIN photo-receiver (lab-Buddy bench-top, with 0.55 A/W responsivity at 1550 nm). Finally, the signal is electrically captured, sampled and post-processed by a real-time digital phosphor oscilloscope (up to 100 GSa/s, 20 GHz bandwidth). Two bench-top Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs) for DWDM multichannel (covering C-band, with output power up to +23 dBm and nominal Gain of 30 dB) are available for amplification at transmitter/receiver sides, and a programmable optical filter based on high resolution liquid crystal on Silicon technology (LCoS, with arbitrary filter shape, control of filter dispersion, and filter bandwidth variable from 10 GHz to 5 THz, covering C+L bands) can be placed in the transmitter/receiver for flexi-grid channels.

Figure 1. Optical communication test and measurement equipment

Figure 1. Optical communication test and measurement equipment

In addition,  EOS platform also integrates several optical, electro-optical and electrical devices necessary to implement different schemes of both transmitter and receiver subsystems: a LiNbO3 Mach-Zehnder modulator (MZM) with a RF driver (both up to 40 GHz) to generate the optical signal for intensity modulation (IM) schemes with direct detection (DD), a LiNbO3 phase modulator (up to 12 GHz bandwidth for constant envelope, CE, schemes), a nested I/Q MZM (based on GaAs, for advanced 40 Gb/s DQPSK transmission) with ultra linear drivers (up to 40 GHz) as depicted in Fig. 2, an ultrafast InGaAs PIN photo-detector (50 GHz bandwidth, loaded with 50 Ω, and 0.6 A/W of responsivity), some RF amplifiers (24 dB of Gain, up to 20 GHz) to adapt the power of the RF signal somewhere they are needed, two pairs of waveguide-integrated photo-detectors on a single chip connected as balanced detectors (with 42 GHz bandwidth and 0.6 A/W at 1550 nm) for coherent (CO) receivers, a 90º optical hybrid with two single polarization (enabling to extract phase, amplitude and polarization from a signal with any polarization) also for CO receivers, and two athermal arrayed waveguide gratings (AWGs, with 40 Gaussian channels of 100GHz) for the transmission of multiple flows aggregated in sliceable bandwidth variable transponders (S-BVTs) and noise filtering at reception side. By using additional devices also available, such as, double-balanced mixers (IF up to 10 GHz, LO/RF from 9 to 20 GHz), a 2 way-0º power splitter (up to 18 GHz) and a voltage controlled oscillator (VCO, up to 20 GHz), it is possible to implement RF up-conversion/down-conversion stages within the transmitter/receiver respectively.

Figure 2. Nested I/Q MZM with RF Drivers

Figure 2. Nested I/Q MZM with RF Drivers

Design, development and assembly of hardware for new opto-electronic subsystems (Fig. 3) is possible thanks to several facilities such as, for example, printed circuit board (PCB) designer software (for schematics and layouts, including integration with manufacturing output tools), FPGA simulation and synthesis software, dual (up to 20V) and triple (up to 30V, with tracking function) DC Power supplies, a DC+AC RMS multimeter (able to perform frequency, capacitance, duty cycle and pulse width measurements), and other devices that are accessible: soldering irons, microscopes, a circuit board plotter suitable for producing PCB prototypes (0.1 mm of minimum conductor width and interval), a natural convection oven for drying and sterilizing (up to 250 ºC), and a CeNeCe milling machine suitable for making front and rear panels of prototypes (with resolution of 0.01 mm). Moreover, the floor of the ONS laboratory is certified with an electrostatic behavior of Conductive, so it drains electrostatic charges deposited on it to ground, in order to avoid electrostatic discharge when handling hardware components. In the laboratory, there are different types of components for grounding, providing ESD protection: grounding mats, adjustable wriststrap sets, heel grounders and Earth bonding plugs.

Figure 3. Developed and assembled prototype for ADRENALINE Testbed®

Figure 3. Developed and assembled prototype for ADRENALINE Testbed®

Optical passive components and fiber-optic inspection devices are suitable for making measurements and experiments that involve the use of test and measurement equipment or hardware design and development facilities, and for the EOS platform development: a mini video microscope with camera and TFT display can be found, also a precision fiber cleaver (for fibers between 80 and 200 µm), or several fiber-optic adapters (simplex and duplex, for different kinds of connectors), attenuators (different kinds, from 1 to 15 dB), several fiber-optic patch cords (1,2, 3, 5 or 10 m, also terminated with different kinds of connectors), different 1×2 SM optical couplers (ratio equal to 50/50, 10/90 or 5/95), and two 45º Faraday rotators (in-line, from PMF to PMF). Furthermore, three standard G652 SM fiber-optic spools are available (10, 25 and 50 Km, all with 0.19 dB/Km of attenuation), in order to evaluate the transmission over different distances. In the same way, several RF Components are also available: 50Ω cable assemblies with different lengths (up to 1.5 m), material characteristics (hand-formable, semi-rigid or flexible), frequency range (from DC to 12.4, 13, 18, 26.5, 40 and 65 GHz), and with different terminations (SMA, SMP, V, GPPO, etc.). There are also several RF adapters (SMA, V or K interfaces) up to 40 GHz, RF attenuators (from 3 to 20 dB, with frequency range either up to 18 GHz or up to 26 GHz), loads (50 Ω), DC-blocks and different low-pass filters (from DC to either 5 GHz or 7.2 GHz). Additionally, test and measurement cables (red and black with different terminations) can be used for providing electrical connections throughout the experiments.

The following simulation software facilities are also available: VPI photonics provides design and analysis of optical transmission systems, by means of electrical and optical basic modules (e.g. transmitters, modulators, receivers, amplifiers, filters or fibers). This software also includes network elements, signal processing and math functions. OPNET tools are usable for the design and analysis of different communication networks, devices, protocols and applications. There are hundreds of protocols and vendor device models with source code included.

Finally, software applications are designed and developed on the requirements of researchers. The ONS department has strong knowledge of C/C++ (C99 / c++11), including standard, Boost and Qt libraries, proved by the expertise in developing GNU/Linux system and applications. Software development team also uses Perl, Python and Java. The servers include all necessary services for software development: bugtracking, version control (subversion), Fully Automated Linux, drupal and phpBB for web-based services. Several development methodologies have been successfully applied, such as Waterfall, V-Model or Agile.