Gil Fernandes, a researcher from IT in Aveiro, was the winner of the Optics and Photonics Portuguese Society award for the “Best PhD Thesis in Optics and Photonics in Portugal, 2018”, with the thesis entitled “Optical and Digital Signal Processing in Space-Division Multiplexing Transmission Systems”.
In the last decades, fiber-optic communication systems have supported our information-driven society and economy. The increment of data-carrying capacity has been achieved through innovative ways exploiting the four available dimensions presented in standard optical fibers: time, amplitude, wavelength, and polarization. The spatial dimension has, however, remained untapped, despite it being possible to fabricate fibers supporting several spatial modes or containing multiple cores, which can be exploited as parallel channels.
“In my PhD, I developed optical and digital techniques for signal processing in coherent fiber-optic transmission systems with space-division multiplexing (SDM). Such accomplishments include the development of novel techniques for signal switching based on the acousto-optic effect and in nonlinear fiber-optic processes. In addition, exploring the signal representation on Higher-order Poincaré spheres, I also proposed new digital signal processing (DSP) techniques for signal equalization in SDM systems”, explains Gil Fernandes.
Encouraged by his supervisors, Armando Pinto and Nelson Muga (both also from IT in Aveiro), to apply to the award, Gil Fernandes adds that “It was with surprise, but also with great pleasure, that I received this award which, I believe, reflects the recognition of the work developed during my PhD. Personally, this award encourages me to further pursue my scientific career”.