The Optcom group has recently acquired access to a new experimental facility called PhotonLab, which is a joint venture between Politecnico di Torino and Istituto Mario Boella.
PhotonLab is a shared facility and 5 groups cooperate in tight coordination within it:
- The OptCom Group
- The Optical Networking Group
- The Optoelectronics and Components Group
- The Electro-Magnetics Group
- The Materials Group
PhotonLab is a 250 square meters laboratory that includes an optical system and network experiment area, plus a clean room, an electronics lab, a machine shop and a dark room. The whole facility is in filtered air, with the clean room being class 1000. The whole floor is large concrete blocks suspended on giant coils to isolate the lab from external vibrations.
The system experiment section is equipped with state-of-the-art Test and Measurement equipment, encompassing a 12.5 Gbit/s BER tester, two 50 GHz oscilloscopes, several Optical Spectrum Analyzers, Optical and Electrical Network Analyzers up to 40 GHz, ten EDFAs, 500 km of long-haul-grade Truewave Fiber, and hundreds of optical and electro-optical components acquired through various donations from Agilent, CISCO and Marconi. 40 Gbit/s equipment is currently being evaluated for acquisition within 2004.
As a results the OptCom Group is well equipped to carry out all sorts of experiments within the scope of this proposal. In addition PhotonLab has just acquired access to 8 rings for a total of 240 km of dark installed fiber in the whole city of Torino, supplied by the operator FASTWEB. The rings go through busy avenues, over bridges, along railway tracks, through residential as well as industrial areas. They also go through several POPs of the operator. This testbed enables actual field measurements to be carried out from within the lab, where the dark fiber is terminated, which is something of great value to give significance to the experimental results of the proposed project.
PhotonLab has six rooms targeting different applications: 1000 class cleanroom, dark room, system characterization room, climatic tests room, electronics assembly and mechanics workshop. In this gallery the optical communication systems area, the clean and dark rooms and the electronic and mechanical workbenches are shown.
Test Benches Tour
PhotonLab testbenches currently host eight experiments on optical network testbed (WONDER), metropolitan ring characterization setup (Fastweb), advanced modulation format experiment (Avanex), polymeric optical fiber tesbed (Luceat), automated RF measurement setup, near field glass waveguides measurement, refractive index measurements of bulk materials and automated optical devices alignment. In this section is shown the Fastweb testbeb. The italian provider Fastweb S.p.A has provided PhotonLab - OCG with 240 km of dark fibers in order to carry out experiments on typical linear effects present in optical communication systems as PMD (Polarization Mode Dispersion) and Chromatic Dispersion as well as non linear effects and PDL (Polarization Dependent Loss). In addition to this we present the testbed of the innovative modulations formats (DPSK and Duo Binary) to study their dependence from effects as Chromatic Dispersion, PMD, and non-linear effects. Finally, some typical pictures coming from the Polymeric Optical Fiber Testbed are shown. Polymeric Optical Fibers represent a low-cost solution for the optical communications market. Moreover, they can be used for different applications as, for example, optical communications and sensors.
Tour of instruments
Our equipment includes several instruments like bit error rate testers (BERT), optical and electrical network analyzers, optical spectrum analyzers (OSA), polarization analyzer, tunable lasers, laser controllers, wavelength meter, optical power meters, laser burn-in mainframe, digitizing oscilloscopes, optical time domain reflectometers (OTDR) both for glass and polymer optical fibers, 100x magnification microscope, Abbe's refractometer, profilometer, climatic chamber, UV exposure unit and PCB etching unit.