Researchers from the Chalmers University of Technology and TalTech demonstrated a 4,000-kilometre fibre-optic transmission line, which will improve the quality of data communication and, for example, radio, mobile, and Internet connection.
On 26 March 27 years ago, Estonia established its first internet connection to the outside world via a satellite between Tallinn and Stockholm, which adds significance to this achievement of Estonian and Swedish researchers.
This breakthrough in fibre optics by Estonian and Swedish researchers is crucial, for example, in remote controlling drones in dangerous environments and storing cloud data, as well as in 3D video and virtual reality applications – that is, in situations where very voluminous and time-critical data transmission is required.
Researchers and the greatest minds in electronics and IT from around the world are looking for such new pioneering technologies, which makes the achievement of the researchers from the Photonics Laboratory of the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and the Thomas Johann Seebeck Department of Electronics of TalTech all the more special. It was also published in the journal Nature Communications.
The breakthrough was made possible by the new phase-sensitive optical amplifier. It is characterised by a significantly lower basic noise level compared to existing amplifiers. This is what made it possible to increase the length of the transmission lines more than six times.
‘Even today, we can see the extraordinary advantages of such amplifiers in fibre optics,’ said Professor Peter Andrekson (who has Estonian roots), Head of the Photonics Laboratory of the Chalmers University of Technology. Professor Andrekson added that in the future, the new amplifiers may find use also in, for example, quantum informatics, where the generation, registration, and processing of quantum states is required.
The innovative amplifiers developed by researchers from two technical universities significantly reduce the accumulation of noise, as well as signal distortion, and as a result, it has become possible to increase the length of the transmission lines more than six times. Compared to traditional solutions, such novel amplifiers significantly improve the quality of communication and the quality of fibre optic communication systems is also likely to increase in the future.
The work of Estonian and Swedish researchers is funded by the European Research Council (ERC), the Swedish Research Council, and the Wallenberg Foundations.