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Standards to support lightwave communications

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1 Author(s)
Pollitt, S. ; Nat. Phys. Lab., Teddington, UK

Lightwaves have been at the heart of many developments in communications throughout history. Perhaps the earliest example of a long distance communication link was a chain of bonfires or beacons. Certainly by the beginning of the 18th century optical telegraph networks spanned many countries within Europe. However, the greatest explosion in lightwave communication technology has occurred in the last two decades, advanced by the successful development of fibre optic technology. Fibre optic systems now form the backbone of a worldwide communications network and the uses of fibres in local area networks is growing rapidly. Despite the massive advances in the use of fibre optics, the technology and its application to communications are far from mature. The optical fibre transmission windows at 1300 nm and 1500 nm each have bandwidths in excess of 10 THz - almost 1000 times greater than the radio frequency spectrum used for broadcasting and communications. This enormous bandwidth will allow carriers, each at a different frequency, to be used within the same fibre thereby increasing its transmission capacity. Frequency standards are currently being developed to support frequency and wavelength division multiplexing. The current status of standards for lightwave communications is reviewed, the current advances in the field are discussed and future requirements for standards are identified.<>

Published in:

Precision Electromagnetic Measurements, 1994. Digest., 1994 Conference on

Date of Conference:

June 27 1994-July 1 1994

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