Into the Light
The development of fibre optics and photonics technology has opened enormous possibilities for advanced communications systems, as well as a wide range of emerging applications. One of the major hurdles that must be overcome to allow this new technology to realize its full potential is the existing tolerance levels for polarization and dispersion-related impairments.
Dr. Xiaoyi Bao's research is aimed at overcoming this challenge by combining the existing methods of single-channel impairment compensation and nonlinear effects control in multi-channel systems. Her proposed approach will permit complete compensation in high speed, multi-channel systems. Her approach will reduce the need for replacement of existing fibres and optical components, a major concern of telecommunications suppliers that have large investments in so-called legacy systems.
Dr. Bao will use her research program to build on existing strengths, such as fibre characterization and compensation for polarization mode dispersion and polarization-dependent loss, the development and application of distributed fibre sensors, and stabilizing laser wavelength and reducing line width. She will also pursue new areas of research, including the study and control of nonlinear optic effects in transmission fibres, novel compensation techniques based on new photonics materials and devices, and the development of new ultra-fast and high power/high repetition rate fibre laser source, soliton lasers and frequency-stabilized lasers.
Among the applications she expects to flow from her work are new sensors for fire detection or leakage from oil and gas pipelines.
Dr. Bao foresees a close collaboration between her lab, the large centre of excellence for photonics that exists at the University of Ottawa, and the leading players in the Canadian telecommunications industry to rapidly move the products of her work into commercialization.