Petabit Energy Aware Capacity Enhancement (PEACE)

Lead Research Organisation: Aston University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering and Applied Science

Abstract

As recently discussed by the Wall Street Journal, the remarkable success of the internet may be attributed to the tremendous capacity of unseen underground and undersea optical fibre cables and the technologies associated with them. Indeed, the initial surge in web usage in the mid 1990s coincides with the commissioning of the first optically amplified transatlantic cable network, TAT12/13 allowing ready access to information otherwise inaccessible. Tremendous progress has been made since then, with the introduction of wavelength division multiplexing, where multiple colours of light are used to establish independent connections through the same fibre and coherent detection, the optical analogue of an advanced radio receiver able to detect both amplitude and frequency (or phase) modulation simultaneously enabling the information carrying capacity to be doubled and the required signal power to be reduced. To manage the costs, communication networks typically aggregate connections between many users onto a single communications link within the core of the network, avoiding the tremendous costs associated with dedicated links for all users across vast distances. Typically the trade of between cost and reliability has resulted in traffic from several thousand customers being aggregated onto a single fibre resulting in bit rates in the region of 100 Gbit/s per wavelength channel to support broadband connections of around 10 Mbit/s. However, this has resulted in intensities in optical fibres that are a million times greater than sunlight at the surface of the Earth's atmosphere and so the signal is significantly distorted by nonlinearly (a similar effect to overdriving load speakers). This distortion limits the maximum amount of information which may be transmitted across and optical fibre link, and unless combated, the nonlinear response will result in a capacity crunch, limiting access to the internet to today's levels.

This project aims to allow the continued increase of the bandwidth of these fibre networks underpinning modern communications, including 17.6 million UK mobile internet connections and 70% penetration of home broadband connections. To increase capacity we will maximise spectral use, by adapting techniques found in mobile phones for use in fibre networks, resolving the significant issues associated with processing data with 1,000,000 times greater bandwidth using a balance of digital and analogue electronic and optical processing. This will reduce cost, size and power consumption associated with producing Tb/s capacities per wavelength. Critically, the project will develop techniques to understand and mitigate the nonlinear signal distortions. Nonlinear distortions occur within a channel, between channels and between each channels and noise originating in the optical amplifiers. By transforming the signal mid way along the link, we will exploit the nonlinear response of the second half of the fibre link to cancel the nonlinear distortion of the first to minimise the impact of nonlinear distortion associated with the channels themselves, and optimise the configuration of the system to minimise the nonlinear interaction with the noise, resulting in orders of magnitude increases in the maximum capacity of the optical fibre system.

Planned Impact

The primary societal impact of PEACE will be to significantly postpone the impending telecommunications capacity crunch and will consequently have significant overall economic impact. By working with UK Photonics Communications industry, solutions developed in PEACE will allow full penetration of broadband services and time for the development of service delivery platforms which enable outstanding service delivery, of for example, low latency high definition video conferencing for domestic use (eg Panasonic Life Wall). By allowing for the development of a core network of sufficient capacity, PEACE will enable the increased effectiveness of various e-initiatives, such as e-medicine and e-public services and will so contribute the development of the emerging e-culture and overall quality of life. Similarly, by preventing an exponential growth in network energy consumption, PEACE will ensure environmental sustainability. Scientifically, PEACE proposes to create a centre of excellence for nonlinear system design, favouring understanding and direct mitigation of impairments over simple acceptance. This will result in new approaches to system design; will uncover new aspects of nonlinear pulse dynamics. Specifically PEACE will:
1. Maintain a high quality core science programme in collaboration with UK partners within the network equipment and operator communities. Prof. Ellis has published over 175 peer reviewed conference and journal papers since entering academia in 2003, and collaborates widely in Europe, partnering in 4 EU Framework 6/7 projects since 2006, an activity worth an additional euro2.5M funding to his host institution. In addition to UK collaborations, Prof. Ellis intends to continue to play a leading role in major European programmes with major companies such as OFS Fitel, Oclaro, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks.
2. Integrate applied research projects within the programme to create industry-relevant technologies and products. Prof. Ellis will continue to generate valuable IP (1 patent application per year, one know how transfer, one patent license and one spin out company since 2003). This process will be managed by the Aston Business Partnership Unit.
3. Cluster UK-based ICT companies around the proposal ensuring the industrial relevance of the research and providing direct exploitation routes benefiting the UK economy. In addition to working with the major multi-national companies, the project will support the growth of existing SMEs by helping to develop innovative new products, enabling access new sources of research funding, providing training and PEACE will support the creation of new ventures. A recent example of the later is Prof Ellis' intellectual property contributing to the start up Pilot Photonics (founded in 2011). The Aston Business Partnership Unit will regularly assist in the assessment of patentable and or/commercialisable material within the project. The project will also recruit and train highly-skilled people to the direct benefit of UK and European industry.
4. Fostering public awareness through education and outreach programmes, encouraging all PhD students to participate in Aston Universities outreach program, and participating personally in appropriate events with a wider public audience. Press-releases to non-specialist journals and professional magazines will also be used to publicize breakthroughs of particular importance to the wider public.
Thus the overall program of research enabled by this project is expected to have wide ranging benefits to the scientific community (development of a new approach to communication system design) the communications industry (simultaneous increase in available capacity and reduction in energy consumption) and wider society (continued growth of electronic communications).

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description In previous years, the potential benefits of the communications technologies studied in PEACE. In this year the key findings were associated with establishing a level of detailed understanding necessary to enable further performance enhancement, and the development of low cost, low energy consumption transponder concepts to exploit the enhanced transmission capability.
Exploitation Route We are now discussing directly funded follow on projects with industry partners in order to enable commercialisation of our key findings.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy

 
Description Following on from the non academic impacts in previous years, activities funded under this award have contributed to changes in policy in both BT and government, both home and abroad. In the UK both BT and the UK government are now fully supportive of fibre to the home technologies (under the guise of a new name "Pure Fibre", coined during an Industry and Parliement Trust event discussing the topic). Budget announcements supporting the technology we trailed in Nov 2016, were formally announced in March 2017 and roll out of fibre to the home solutions has continued against suitably ambitious targets. In the light of the current pandemic, the availability of core and access networks to support high capacities has proven essential to support home working and on-line shopping to enable self isolation. It as particularly gratifying to see that, in June 2020, data clearly demonstrated the positive enviromental impact of home working through the dramitic reduction in unecessary travel. Further afield, optical technologies developed under this project have had international impact, including supporting optical network based policies in South Africa where the PI is now funded through a Royal Academy of Engineering grant to support the deployment of rapid deployment optical solutions to informal communities at low cost. The outreach strategies developed under this project continue to enable a wider community to be engaged, ranging from high school children at that critical point during their decision making process through participation in the Big Bang fair and through an event at ECOC 2019 (Dublin) headlined by Prof Brian Cox (initiated during the grant, but shortly after). Additional suport of RA careers has been provided in collaboration with the Tommy Flowers Network" and through the IEEE Photonics Society UK and Ireland BRanch series HOPES. Of course, commercialisation is an essential aspect of the research, and activities on transponders have been taken up by Huawei, and alumni working on or with the grant are actively contributing to industrial product development in Huawei, Infinera, Viasat and Avianti Communications Group.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Digital Communications Infrastructure Strategy
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to a national consultation/review
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/digital-communications-infrastructure-strategy-consultat...
 
Description 7th Framework Program
Amount £291,250 (GBP)
Funding ID 619732 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 02/2014 
End 01/2017
 
Description Advanced Optical Frequency Comb Technologies and Applications
Amount £1,722,850 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/W002868/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2021 
End 09/2026
 
Description Collaboration enabling funding as part of University of Southampton program grant
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 15462/03 
Organisation University of Southampton 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2017
 
Description EC Marie Curie IEF SOLAS
Amount £170,446 (GBP)
Funding ID 627545 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2014 
End 09/2016
 
Description EPSRC-SFI:Energy Efficient M Communication using Combs (EEMC)
Amount £634,133 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S016171/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 03/2024
 
Description Fibre Parametric amplifiers for Real Applications in Optical Communication Systems (FPA-ROCS)
Amount £717,568 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R024057/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 05/2021
 
Description Fibre before the fibre: Bridging the Digital Divide in Informal Settlements
Amount £80,000 (GBP)
Funding ID CoSE 313671 
Organisation Royal Academy of Engineering 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2021 
End 04/2023
 
Description High Dimensional Wireless Passive Optical Networking for Access Deployment (PON-HD)
Amount £562,149 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/T009047/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 03/2023
 
Description Initial Training Network
Amount £705,391 (GBP)
Funding ID 608099 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 02/2014 
End 01/2018
 
Description MSCA-IF-2014-EF
Amount £126,521 (GBP)
Funding ID 654809 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2017
 
Description MSCA-IF-2014-EF
Amount £134,796 (GBP)
Funding ID 659950 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 03/2016 
End 03/2018
 
Description Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships
Amount € 183,455 (EUR)
Funding ID 654809 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Eurostat
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2017
 
Description Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships
Amount € 195,455 (EUR)
Funding ID 659950 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Eurostat
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 03/2016 
End 03/2018
 
Description Photonic Phase Conjugation Systems (PHOS)
Amount £902,113 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S003436/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2018 
End 05/2022
 
Description Silicon waveguide based-optical phase conjugation for high spectral efficiency superchannel transmission systems
Amount £8,000 (GBP)
Funding ID IEC\NSFC\201406 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2021 
End 03/2023
 
Description Standard Research
Amount £777,148 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/M005283/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2015 
End 06/2019
 
Title Aston University Open Data 
Description Supporting data for all publications is published on Aston Research Explorer 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact None at present 
URL https://research.aston.ac.uk/portal/en/datasets/search.html
 
Title Data underpinning article "224-Gb/s Carrier-recovery-free Doubly Differential 2ASK-8PSK for Access Network" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL http://researchdata.aston.ac.uk/id/eprint/335
 
Title Data underpinning article "86-GBaud subcarrier multiplexed 16QAM signal generation using an electrical 90 degree hybrid and IQ mixers" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "A Reconfigurable OADM Architecture for High-Order Regular- and Offset- QAM based OFDM Super-Channels" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "Characterisation of Linear and Nonlinear Noise of a Dual-Stage Broadband Discrete Raman Amplifier" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "Characterisation of Linear and Nonlinear Noise of a Dual-Stage Broadband Discrete Raman Amplifier" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "Combating Fibre Nonlinearity Using Dual-Order Raman Amplification and OPC" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "Distributed Raman Amplification Design for Fibre Nonlinearity Compensation with Mid-link Optical Phase Conjugation" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "Distributed Raman Amplification Technique in Combating Optical Nonlinearities in Fibre Transmission" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "Enhanced Nonlinearity Compensation Efficiency of Optical Phase Conjugation System" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "Enhanced Transmission Performance Using Backward-Propagated Broadband ASE Pump" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL http://researchdata.aston.ac.uk/id/eprint/342
 
Title Data underpinning article "Experimental demonstration of 72% reach enhancement of 3.6Tbps optical transmission system using mid-link Optical Phase Conjugation" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL http://researchdata.aston.ac.uk/id/eprint/354
 
Title Data underpinning article "Expression for Nonlinear Noise in Optical Phase Conjugation Systems with Lumped Amplifiers" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "Fiber Nonlinearity Compensation Using Erbium-Doped-Fiber-Assisted Dual-Order Raman Amplification" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "Filter Bank Multi-Sub-Band Transmission for Optical Systems with Mode Multiplexing" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL http://researchdata.aston.ac.uk/id/eprint/403
 
Title Data underpinning article "Impact of Linear Mode Coupling on the Nonlinear Transmission Performance of Few-Mode Fibres" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "Linear and nonlinear impairments of few-mode fibers with partial coupling between groups of quasi-degenerate modes" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "Nonlinear Performance of Few-Mode Fiber Links with Intermediate Coupling" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL http://researchdata.aston.ac.uk/id/eprint/337
 
Title Data underpinning article "Nonlinearity compensation using Optical Phase Conjugation deployed in discretely amplified transmission systems" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL http://researchdata.aston.ac.uk/id/eprint/350
 
Title Data underpinning article "Overcoming degradation in spatial multiplexing systems with stochastic nonlinear impairments" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL http://researchdata.aston.ac.uk/id/eprint/336
 
Title Data underpinning article "RIN Transfer Mitigation Technique Using Broadband Incoherent Pump in Distributed Raman Amplified Transmission Systems" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "Symmetry Requirements for 34dB Nonlinearity Compensation in OPC Systems" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article "The Impact of Dispersion Slope on Fiber Nonlinearity in Ultra-Wideband Optical Communication System" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Data underpinning article - "Spatial multiplexing: modelling" 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL http://researchdata.aston.ac.uk/id/eprint/338
 
Title Impact of Dispersion Fluctuations in a Dual-core Fibre Optical Parametric Amplifier 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://researchdata.aston.ac.uk/id/eprint/505
 
Description Amplifier Development 
Organisation Huawei Technologies
Country China 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Design and assemblyof prototype amplifier for novel application.
Collaborator Contribution Development of target specificiation, provision of funding
Impact Reports delivered to collaborator
Start Year 2018
 
Description Data Centre Design 
Organisation NHS Property Services
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Advice on characterisitcs enabled by photonic approach, calculation of advantages of site and technology specific advantages. Introductions to leading edge suppliers and support of business case development process.
Collaborator Contribution Discussions on the future needs of data centre based applications focused on low latebncy and high security and the opportunity for photonics to address these issues. Staff time.
Impact This collaboration has resulted in the partner organsation deciding to proceed with the development of a data centre project, appointing stuctural surveyors to finalise the feasibility phase of the project.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Future system interoperability 
Organisation Ciena Corporation
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Development of future system concepts supporting the application of partners transponder technology.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of optical transponder hardware, on line support, meetings to discuss industry roadmaps and potential research topics.
Impact Partner supplied devices recently activated in the laboratory.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Optical Fibre Component Research 
Organisation Phoenix Photonics Ltd.
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Design of advanced fiber optic components
Collaborator Contribution Cash support of research grant, plus open discussion on component market trends and attendance at University industry days and trade shows.
Impact Identification of potential fibre based component products for advanced communication networks
Start Year 2014
 
Description Optical Network Evolutions 
Organisation BT Group
Department BT Innovate and Design
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Study of the impact of techniques to improve transmission performance on the overall performance of actual networks.
Collaborator Contribution Access to research engineers for bilateral foresight discussions, provision of and training in use of network modelling tools.
Impact Research papers with co-authors listed from BT
Start Year 2014
 
Description Optical comb sources 
Organisation Pilot Photonics
Country Ireland 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Support of product demonstrations, research into novel configurations of optical comb sources, general instance specific consultancy services
Collaborator Contribution Access to market data. FInancial contributions
Impact Reportable outputs pending
Start Year 2014
 
Description Optical fiber design and testing 
Organisation Sterlite Technologies
Country India 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Design and testing of optical fiber, reports identifying value propositions for new optical fibres, technology foresight.
Collaborator Contribution Roadmapping, donation of over 1600km of state of the art optical fibre, access to fabrication facilities, access to research engineers at production facility in India.
Impact Publications as identified by acknowledgements section of each paper
Start Year 2014
 
Description Technology Foresight 
Organisation Finisar
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Provided a series of technology foresight reports
Collaborator Contribution Provided advanced test and measurement equipment, both free of charge and at a 50% additional discount (on top of standard educational discount)
Impact Outputs in the form of publications citing the support of Finisar.
Start Year 2014
 
Title METHOD OF NON-LINEARITY COMPENSATION IN OPTICAL FIBRE COMMUNICATIONS 
Description A nonlinearity compensation technique for a CO-OFDM transmission system in which a proportion (e.g. up to 50%) of OFDM subcarriers is transmitted along with a phase-conjugate copy (PCP) on another subcarrier (replacing a data carrying subcarrier) to enable nonlinear distortion compensation. Nonlinear distortion experienced by closely spaced subcarriers in an OFDM system is highly correlated. The PCPs are used at the receiver to estimate the nonlinear distortion (e.g. nonlinear phase shift) of their respective original subcarriers and other subcarriers close to the PCP. With this technique, the optical fibre nonlinearity due to the Kerr effect in OFDM systems can be effectively compensated without the complexity of DBP or 50% loss in capacity of the phase conjugate twin wave (PC-TW) technique. Moreover, the technique proposed herein can be effectively implemented in both single polarization and PMD systems, in both single channel and WDM systems. 
IP Reference WO2015155520 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed No
Impact None at present
 
Title MODE DIVISION MULTIPLEXED PASSIVE OPTICAL NETWORK 
Description A mode division multiplexing passive optical network (PON) in which channel estimation/inversion is performed in the optical domain. The PON comprises a plurality of input channels; a multiplexer having a plurality of input ports connected to a respective one of the input channels; an optical fibre having an uplink end connected to an output port of the multiplexer, whereby the multiplexer outputs a mode multiplexed signal corresponding to the optical signals from the plurality of input channels. The PON includes an optical equalizer arranged to transfer power between optical signals having different modes to compensate for crosstalk between the different modes. In this system, compensation for crosstalk occurs in the optical domain, e.g. by using the optical equalizer to adapt the optical signals where necessary. 
IP Reference WO2016207657 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2016
Licensed No
Impact Facilitated discussion with industrial partner, resulting in proposal to support PhD student to work in the general area identified by the patent.
 
Title SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF OPTICAL SIGNALS 
Description A system for transmission of an optical signal, the system including an optical coupler for splitting said signal into a first copy and a second copy. The optical coupler has an input for receiving the optical signal, a first output for the first copy and a second output for the second copy. The system also includes a first optical guide connected to the first output, a second optical guide connected to the second output and a superposition module for coherently superimposing the first copy and the second copy of the signal. 
IP Reference WO2017162853 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2017
Licensed No
Impact Leading for further collaboration opportunities with Huawei and Ciena, with potential onward licensing. This interest has in turn resulted in discussions of potential spin-out opportunities with entrepreneurs.
 
Description 2015 News Coverage 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A series of newspaper, TV and radio interviews, accompanied by press releases, social media debates etc. The purpose was to raise awareness of the impending restrictions on communications capacity, and a wide global audience across 6 continents. Direct attributable interviews were carried out with
Daily Mail
Sunday Times
La Repubblica
The Telegraph
BBC World Service
BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio WM
BBC Radio Coventry
A German Radio Station
RT UK
Sky News
BT.com
New Scientist
and several e-mail exchanges took place with reporters from as far afield as Italy, Australia and South America
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://news.sky.com/video/1482006/internet-capacity-nearing-overload
 
Description 2015 News Coverage 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A series of newspaper, TV and radio interviews, accompanied by press releases, social media debates etc. The purpose was to raise awareness of the impending restrictions on communications capacity, and a wide global audience across 6 continents. Direct attributable interviews were carried out with
Daily Mail
Sunday Times
La Repubblica
The Telegraph
BBC World Service
BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio WM
BBC Radio Coventry
A German Radio Station
RT UK
Sky News
BT.com
New Scientist
and several e-mail exchanges took place with reporters from as far afield as Italy, Australia and South America
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://news.sky.com/video/1482006/internet-capacity-nearing-overload
 
Description Autumn statement opinion 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A number of general press articles covering the overall issue addressed by this grant we generated following a press release giving support formthe Government's proposed investment in an new national PureFibre infrastructure. The announcement itself represents a positive outcome from other previous engagement activities by this team, and of course from other EPSRC funded teams in similar areas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Birmingham Café Scientifique 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A free flowing talk followed by an extensive public debate on the benefits and curses of ubiquitous communications, and the costs associated with providing them. Follow ups were of public understanding.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description British Science Festival 14 | The Broadband Capacity Crunch - How progress in optical fibre communications enables exponential growth 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact One of many presentations at the British Science Festival, resulted in subsequent e-mail conversations, and undergraduate students inspired to pursue post graduate studies in the field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.britishscienceassociation.org/british-science-festival
 
Description Climate Debate 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact We prepared a white paper for the World Economic Forum, resulting in a debate and a follow up Climate Change working group. Following an initial exchange of ideas via teleconference, where the long term problems were highlighted, and the excellent work of suppliers and operators to minimise the impact of growth in the short with individual "one off" savings programs, were discussed. Given the long term implications of global energy consumption associated with communications, a follow up face to face meeting is now scheduled in London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
 
Description Industry and Parliament Trust Breakfast Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A breakfast meeting between key industry players (eg BT, EE), lobby group and members of both Parliamentary Chambers including the chair of the BIS select committee investigating the digital economy. The meeting discussed the provision of high capacity broadband, particularly in rural areas, industry stuctures and penetration of fibre broadband. Shortly after the meeting public announcements were made on "pure fiber" penetration (as being too low) and the future of BT OpenReach (remaining with BT Group). A blog relating to the event may be found here (http://www.ipt.org.uk/BlogDetail/tabid/248/ArticleID/446/Need-for-Speed-Connectivity-and-Infrastructure.aspx).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.ipt.org.uk/BlogDetail/tabid/248/ArticleID/446/Need-for-Speed-Connectivity-and-Infrastruct...
 
Description Industry and Parliament Trust Dinner Discussion 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact An after dinner presentation and discussion to a selection of parliamentary representatives (both chambers) and civil servants. As a result of the meeting, contacts with the civil servants responsible for the Digital Communications Infrastructure Strategy 2025-2030 were made, ensuring that sufficiently aggressive predictions were included in the consultation documentation, and key aspects of the presentation, such as growth rates, made the final policy document.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Lichfield Science and Engineering Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation to the society annual general meeting on the importance of fibre optics to society. Resulted in key contacts associated with equality and diversity and follow up activities in that field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.lses.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Fibre.pdf
 
Description LightFest 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Lightfest was a celebration of the impact of light on everyday lives, including hands on demonstrations delivered by members of my team (and others), workshops and public lectures (one given by myself, one by the BBC's resident astronomy expert, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.lightfest.org.uk/
 
Description Opinion Pieces 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Two opinion pieces were written one for "International Innovation" with a circulation list across the European Commission, and one for "The Conversation", aimed at a more general, but tech, savvy audience. The purpose was to raise awareness of the energy implications of continued growth in communications capacity given that fundamental limits are now close. Whilst such awareness was achieved, resulting in follow up individual engagement, no tangible outcomes resulted from these activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015
 
Description Photonics Leadership Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The photonics industry group, responsible for collating economic impact data to inform policy decisions, disseminating key industry information, coordinating photonics events and acting as a conduit for downstreaming good ideas. Aston University are one of only three academic members of the Group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
 
Description Photonics Leadership Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Participation in the Photonics leadership Group, developing the lobbying case for political interest in the general field of Photonics, identifying that over 1,500 companies directly exploit photonic technologies etc..

Most significiant achievement, as a result of a sustained effort on this and many fronts is the foundation of a All Party Parliamentary Group in Photonics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
URL https://photonicsuk.org/appg-photonics/
 
Description Resolving the digital divide with sustainable photonics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Plenary Presentation and active participation in workshop activities, brainstorming and analysis. Overall result were recommendations for future evolution of African communication networks, to be published in an upcoming issue of Nature Photonics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://structuredlight.org/sustainable-photonics-workshop/
 
Description Royal Society Discussion Meeting: Communication Networks Beyond the Capacity Crunch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The meeting, organised by myself, Prof Sir David Payne and Prof David Saad, raised publicly, perhaps for the first time in any significant way, the plain facts that all aspects of our communications infrastructure are beginning to fill up. A series of interdisciplinary talks, ranging from media applications all the way through to the law of physics were presented at the Royal Society, and we engaged with PhD students to start developing innovative holistic solutions during a subsequent 2 day workshop. The event attracted significant media attention (search "internet capacity crunch" for a small selection) including trade and general press, radio, television (Sky News, RT News, BBC World News) and online video. The event is still being picked up today with the IEEE coining the phenomena of capacity growth "Keck's Law" in analogy with Moore's Law, both of which are coming to an end.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://royalsociety.org/events/2015/05/communication-networks/
 
Description Spring Budget 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview and subsequent article following the Spring Budget 2017 announcement of new investment in 5G and fibre broadband
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.cable.co.uk/news/spring-budget-2017-chancellor-announces-new-investment-in-5g-and-fibre-...
 
Description Subsea Cables Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a forward looking presentation to the submarine cable industry, including experts in marine biology, hydrology, fishing, renewable energy, communications, cable installation and maintenance. From the event, we made several important industrial contacts of direct relevance to our research (Vodaphone submarine) resulting in follow up meetings in London, but more importantly a emerging consortium examining the environmental impact of submarine communications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description The History of Optical Communications. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was a topical presentation to a local engineering society. Main outcome was of awareness of what is and is not possible, particularly with respect to broadband capabilities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description UK Research Dlegation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact UK Research Dlegation to Israel on behalf of the British Embassy in Tel Aviv. The delegation focussed on developing collaborations in the area of Nanophotonics and Advanced Photonic Materials. Publications are already planned as a result of the visit, and several bilateral discussions of future project proposals are under way.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016