A research team from IT in Aveiro has developed a photonic processor that should allow accessing the internet even in the most remote areas of the planet. Bringing the Internet to half the world's population excluded from the global network is the main goal of the paper recently published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.
"The work presented at Nature Communications was the first real-time demonstration of a photonic processor capable of processing four input signals, each at 1 gigabit per second and a frequency of 28 gigahertz, embedded in a satellite-based communication for receiving data, "said Vanessa Duarte, Miguel Drummond, João Prata and Rogério Nogueira, all researchers from IT. Also, the processor is scalable to many more signals, thus demonstrating that "photonic technologies can ultimately raise quality and reduce the costs of satellite services to the same levels of optical fiber."
This processor, envisaged for the new generation of telecommunications satellites, besides having a lower weight as well a much smaller cost and energy consumption when compared to the current processors, can increase the capacity of data transmission and, highly important, give the satellite flexible coverage.
"The launch of new generation satellites will fill the existing digital gap and bring the Internet to rural and remote sites where it does not exist," explains Miguel Drummond. Additionally, the researcher adds, "this innovation also opens the way for introducing emerging technologies in satellite communication services, namely 5G and IoT services".
The article, now published in Nature Communications, follows the previous study of a photonic processor for a new generation of communication satellites, winner of the innovation prize Altice International Innovation Award 2018, and the Born from Knowledge Awards, delivered by the National Agency of Innovation.
On the Photo (from left to right): Rogério Nogueira, Vanessa Duarte and Miguel Drummond [photo courtesy of UA online)