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SET for Britain Engineering 2015

Dr Spiros Mikroulis presents research at the Houses of Parliament
SET for Britain Engineering 2015

Dr. Spiros Mikroulis meeting his local MP, Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison

Dr. Spiros Mikroulis a Marie Curie Research Fellow working with Dr. John Mitchell in the Communication & Information Systems Group has presented a poster about his research in the House of Commons on 9th March as part of the SET for Britain 2015 competition.

In the last few years, the license-free spectrum at 60GHz, which offers an available bandwidth of 7GHz has gained much attention. Particular applications are the emerging bandwidth-hungry fronthaul/ backhaul to support 5G cellular systems or the ultra-broadband, 60-GHz wireless short area indoor networks. However, operation in the 60 GHz spectrum imposes several challenges due to the increased free space path loss (FSPL), which mandates a high density of radio access points, leading to complexity, increased cost, high power consumption/ electromagnetic radiation, as well as requirements for a distributed network upgrade and maintenance. Radio over Fiber (RoF) centralized approach offers simplification of base station (BS) sites at a remote antenna unit (RAU) (i.e. photodiode & antenna) connected to a central base station (CBS), using already deployed passive optical network-fiber to the home (PON-FTTH).

In the presented work an overview of the ongoing research being undertaken in the multimode FIber Radio technology for cost-efficient indoor Mm-WAve REmote antenna systems “FIRMWARE” MARIE CURIE Research Fellowship under the EU 7th framework programme is presented. FIRMWARE aims to develop technologies and systems to exploit unused capacity in multimode optical fiber to transport ultra-broadband 60GHz wireless signals for indoor networks. The project investigates the low cost, energy efficient and flexible deployment of such networks, using predominantly installed worldwide graded index multimode fiber (GI-MMF), as the indoor optical medium, and integrated novel photonic array antennas, as adaptive transceivers. On the basis of a simple optical filtering scheme using a direct coupling of a single mode fiber (SMF) to a multimode fiber (MMF), so as to minimize high-frequency performance impairments owing to the modal dispersion effect, a fiber-wireless Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) transmission operating up to 5Gb/s has been realized using various combinations of SMF (up to 20km)-MMF(up to 1km) optical links & wireless indoor (up to 4m) transmission.

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Ongoing work is related to extend our converged system approach to the device level with the development of a 60GHz efficient integrated photonic antenna unit using low cost & environmental friendly materials & techniques, such as novel ink-based printed planar array antennas on microwave substrates which can be potentially used for beam-forming scenarios in either the optical or the electronic domain.