Dan Blumenthal, University of Calfornia, Santa Barbara, USA
Nick Fontaine, Nokia Bell Labs, USA
Radan Slavik, University of Southampton, UK
Optical fiber communications has resulted in commodity technologies including the optical fiber and other components, that have also benefited other disciplines. Now, the outcomes of these other disciplines in-turn can benefit fiber communications. An important example is time and frequency metrology and the development of the Optical Frequency Combs used to transfer of signals over optical fibers (e.g., to compare national clocks at different National Metrology Institutes). Other examples include self-referenced ultra-stable optical and microwave signals for atomic clocks, ultra-narrow-linewidth frequency stabilized lasers, and technologies for quantum computing and sensing. These technologies are now finding importance and application that feed back to fiber communications with optical networks needing more accurate time and frequency (e.g., for emerging 5G, distributed database synchronization), and using the existing telecom data carrying fiber base as a distributed precision sensor providing additional services such as Earthquake detection.
The Objective of the Special Session is to bring together researchers from the distinct disciplines of fiber communications, environmental sensing, precision metrology and spectroscopy, atomic clocks and stabilized lasers, and quantum sensing, to bridge communications between these different areas and explore common research grounds and solutions. For example, measurement sensitivity using undersea cables is greatly improved using sources with the high frequency and phase stability developed by the metrology community. We aim to promote understanding of the requirements of ultrastable frequency sources in telecom, including portability and the benefits of photonic integration, and to discuss the current state-of-the-art in performance. Further, we hope to develop connections of the telecom community that has access to terrestrial and transoceanic fibers with those who develop state-of-the-art photonic sources and precision optical techniques with those who have expertise in environmental sensing and precision frequency and phase transfer. Finally, we aim to understand how new emerging telecom fields such as quantum systems could benefit from precision frequency metrology and atomic timing developments. The session will also touch upon frequency references in applications such as space communications, wireless communications, atmospheric sensing, time transfer, geodetic sensing, and synchronization of large-scale experiments.