Leverhulme Trust Project RPG-2021-014

A Mathematical Approach to Tame Optical Turbulence

Research Team

Principal Investigator: Dr Jason Laurie (Aston University)
Postdoctoral Researcher: Dr Jonathan Skipp (Aston University)


Today’s grandest societal needs include the ever-increasing use of optical fibre networks to fuel the rise of IoT devices, the internet, and 5G-capable mobiles as well as utilising pioneering applications of emerging optical technologies such as fibre lasers. We aim to develop new understanding on the processes leading to signal corruption and data loss in fibre networks and lasers. This project will take a two-pronged approach: (i) identify the most common ways in which optical fibre signals become corrupt using the mathematics of bifurcations and turbulence; and based on the insight gained (ii) design new approaches for preventing signal corruption.

We propose the following three objectives:
  1. Develop a mathematical approach to characterise the initial instability of a coherent optical fibre signals towards turbulence inspired by the classical picture of a series of discrete dynamical bifurcations.
  2. Investigate and model the evolution of pre-turbulent bifurcated optical disorder through a weakly nonlinear wave turbulence approach to study the routes towards fully developed turbulence.
  3. Identify the core mechanisms and paths for optical turbulence transition and propose modifications to optical signals, filtering processes, or optical fibre designs to inhibit the natural formation of turbulence and disorder.