UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering


ONG News and Events

Browse all news and events taking place in the Optical Networks Group - including those supported, sponsored or led by the TRANSNET Programme.

News: New paper demonstrates optical fibre capacity to achieve a record speed of 178.08 Terabytes

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In August 2020 a publication from the TRANSNET team reports the fastest internet speed on record. This paper published in July, discusses recent amplification techniques used to improve the speed and distance of data through a single optical fibre. 

The full paper is published in the Photonics Letters: Optical Fibre Capacity Optimisation via Continuous Bandwidth Amplification and Geometric Shaping, IEEE Photonics Technology Letters. Volume: 32, Issue: 17, Sept.1, 2020.

News: The London Evening Standard reveals TRANSNET members from UCL setting a new internet speed record

Fibre Optic Network route image




Transnet members at UCL have shown an internet speed of 178 terabits per second, which is capable of downloading the entire Netflix library in under one second! The team used amplifiers which were custom made to significantly improve how light carries digital data through fibre-optic broadband. The speed generated being three million times faster than the average UK broadband connection.

Ultra broadband is destined to be the foundation for the next generation of the internet to support mobile 5G connections for smart cities infrastructures and driverless cars, with testing on motorways due to start in spring 2021. The team of researchers are also working on increasing the distance over which super-fast data can be transmitted. The team is funded and supported by TRANSNET, The Royal Academy of Engineers, The Royal Society and industrial partners Xtera and KDDI Research.

Read the full article in the Evening Standard posted online on Monday August 17: London scientists build 'ultra broadband nearly three million times faster' than UK home fibre optic internet connections.

News: ICCS members return to the lab following national lockdown

UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering staff and researchers return to labs





On Thursday the 1st of July researchers from UCL's Optical Networks research Group (ONG) returned to the laboratory, showing promise that experimental research is starting to resume following a hiatus during national lockdown measures.

The return is part of the second wave of UCL's phased re-opening of the campus and precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of all researchers and staff. There will be limited access to the building, a restriction on the number of researchers, and use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and social distancing. The laboratory is the first to be re-opened in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

The full article can be read in ICCS News.

News: TRANSNET members continue to deliver world class conference papers during global pandemic

Equipment Rack with monitors




During the COVID-19 pandemic academics, researchers and students working on TRANSNET have continued to produce world-class conference research papers.

In March 2020 just one week before the official lockdown was enforced by the UK government, members of TRANSNET attended the Optical Fibre Communication (OFC) conference in San Diego, California.

The full article and publications list can be found on the TRANSNET website.

News:TRANSNET holds first "virtual" advisory board meeting




The TRANSNET External Advisory Board met on June 17, given global lockdown measures the meeting took place virtually. The advisory board provides critical evaluation and direction to the project leadership, ensuring relevance to EPSRC priorities and project outcomes of the highest quality. The meeting was the second time within the programme that board members have convened. The event saw the advisors respond with an abundance of constructive and positive feedback.

The full article can be read on the TRANSNET website.

News: New technique may enable all-optical data-centre networks

Image of a clock in front of a data storage room





A new technique that synchronises the clocks of computers in under a billionth of a second can eliminate one of the hurdles for the deployment of all-optical networks, potentially leading to more efficient data centres, according to a new study led by UCL and Microsoft.

The full article can be read in ICCS News.

News: New publication explores the modeling and mitigation of fibre nonlinearity

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                                                                                     The recent work led by Professor Robert Killey and Daniel Semrau, members of the UCL Optical Network Group, is published in the Journal of Optical Communications and Networking.

The full article can be found on the journal's site.

News: Prof. Polina Bayvel features in the BBC's The Life Scientific

Polina Bayvel 800 x 500

Prof. Polina Bayvel, Head of the Optical Networks Group and Co-director of the Institute of Communications and Connected Systems (ICCS), featured in an episode of the BBC Radio 4 The Life Scientific. 

Presented by Jim Al-Khalili, Polina discussed the invention of optical fibres, her dedication to the field and much, much more.
Transmission date: Tuesday 11 February 2020
Listen to the full podcast here

ONG 25

News: Optical Networks Group celebrate 25 years
ONG celebrated turning 25 on 19 & 20 September 2019 with a wonderful 2-day workshop entitled 'Optical Networks, the next 25 years'. The workshop had a glittering array of speakers in attendance from across the world of optical communications. We had an excellent two days of debate and discussion about the future of optical communications, with the Dept of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and long term member of ONG, Robert Killey, also delivering his Inaugural Lecture. A wonderful reception was hosted at the Royal Society, with a number of ONG alumni in attendance as well as our EPSRC TRANSNET Programme partners.  To access an agenda with recorded presentations, click here. To access official photos from the workshop, click here.

Domanic Lavery
Event: UCL Minds Lunch hour Lecture: Why can't I sing with Australians on the telephone? & other questions about engineering the Internet
On 26 November 2019, 1-2pm, Dr Domaniç Lavery discussed the challenges of fundamental physics, the design of our digital infrastructure, and a smattering of human nature when trying to create a better Internet.
For the full lecture click here.  
If you have any questions, contact n.vij@ucl.ac.uk 


Tom and Callum IAA

News: The ONG team open up the research lab to the public
For the first time in the 25 year history of University College London's (UCL) Optical Networks Group (ONG), the research laboratory was opened to members of the public, as part of UCL's It's All Academic Festival on Saturday 5 October. 

Attendees were able to book an hourly tour in advance of the festival and were treated to an engaging afternoon of various demos, with time to discuss and learn about some of our most high tech equipment and research. Tours were led by ONG researchers, Tom Gerard and Callum Deakin. For more on this story, click here

blue waves
News: TRANSNET team attend the 45th ECOC Conference 
Members of the Optical Networks Group (ONG) and TRANSNET team across the University College London (UCL) and Aston University sites will be attending this year's European Conference on Optical Communication hosted in Dublin. 

Set to run from 22-26 September 2019, the TRANSNET team will deliver a number of oral presentations, workshops and participate in a poster competition. 

Two highly scored papers by ONG researchers, Daniel Semrau and Kari Clark, will both be presented on Wednesday 25 September. 

To access a complete schedule of ONG/TRANSNET papers, click here

Polina osa

News: Director of ONG elected to board of international optical society

During a meeting of OSA The Optical Society, at the '2019 Frontier in Optics + Laser Science' conference Polina Bayvel, Director of ONG and professor in UCL's Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering was elected Director at Large of the Society. 

This is a wonderful achievement for Polina, who this year celebrates 25 years of the ONG here at UCL. For more on this news story, click here