Plenary Talks

Joseph Kahn

Professor at Stanford University

Joseph M. Kahn is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. His research addresses communication and imaging through optical fibers, including modulation, detection, signal processing and spatial multiplexing. He received A.B. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from U.C. Berkeley in 1981 and 1986, respectively. From 1987-1990, he was at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Crawford Hill Laboratory, in Holmdel, NJ. He was on the Electrical Engineering faculty at U.C. Berkeley from 1990-2003. In 2000, he co-founded StrataLight Communications, which was acquired by Opnext, Inc. in 2009. He received the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1991 and is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Revolutions at the Extremes in Optical Communications

Our research on optical communication at extreme length scales – short and long – demonstrates how rapid advances are fueled by the massive connectivity needs of hyper-scale data centers supporting social media, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Within each data center, thousands of servers share data via a network of electronic switches, each with a capacity that will soon reach tens of terabits per second, interconnected via a mesh of multi-terabit-per-second optical fiber links. Achieving this connectivity will require intimate integration of electronics and photonics, and drives us to adopt coherent optical detection exploiting optical frequency comb light sources. Data centers across the globe interconnect via undersea optical fiber cables. As the throughput of each cable exceeds tens of terabits per second over distances of thousands of kilometers, the throughput becomes constrained by the electrical power available to drive its hundreds of inline optical amplifiers. Further scaling up cable capacity requires multiplexing data in tens of parallel fibers. We have shown that properly taking account of optical amplifier physics and information theoretic principles can nearly double the capacity of power-limited submarine cables.

Susana Sargento

Professor at Universidade de Aveiro & Instituto de Telecomunicações

Susana Sargento is a Full Professor in the University of Aveiro and the Institute of Telecommunications, where she is leading the Network Architectures and Protocols (NAP) group. In March 2012, Susana has co-founded a vehicular networking company, Veniam, a spin-off of the Universities of Aveiro, Porto and Instituto de Telecomunicações, which builds a seamless low-cost vehicle-based internet infrastructure. Susana has more than 15 years of experience in technical leadership in many national and international projects, and worked closely with telecom operators and OEMs. Recently she won the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2016. Susana’s main interests are in the areas of self-organized networks, in ad-hoc, vehicular mechanisms and protocols, and content distribution networks.

The Role of Moving Things in Smart City Scenarios

There has been a strong focus in more than 10 years on the development of vehicular network technology and mechanisms to build a reliable wireless mesh network to forward data packets in a multi-hop fashion between the vehicles and the Internet. However, vehicular networks can go much beyond cars: boats, drones (aerial and aquatic), trains, bicycles, and others. Moreover, the type of use cases that can be provided if all the moving elements can be connected is enormous, and go from self-driving and autonomous cars, to environmental monitoring in aquaculture, and rescue scenarios in remote areas. This talk describes how moving networks can build new approaches for smart environments and how they can be used in distinct scenarios, to provide new applications for both citizens and industry in a myriad of areas.

Edward Ackerman

Vice President of Research & Development at Photonic Systems, Inc.

Edward I. Ackerman received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Lafayette College, Easton, PA, USA, in 1987, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA, in 1989 and 1994, respectively. From 1989 to 1994, he was a Microwave Photonic Engineer with the Electronics Laboratory, Martin Marietta, Syracuse, NY, USA. From 1995 to 1999, he was on the research staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA, USA. In 1999, he joined Photonic Systems, Inc., Billerica, MA, USA, where he is currently the Vice President of Research and Development. Dr. Ackerman is the Chair of the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society’s technical committee on Microwave Photonics (MTT-3).

Analog Photonic Systems: Features & Techniques to Optimize Performance

Both the scientific and the defense communities wish to receive and process information occupying ever-wider portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. This can often create an analog-to-digital conversion “bottleneck”. Analog photonic channelization, linearization, and frequency conversion systems can be designed to alleviate this bottleneck. Moreover, the low loss and dispersion of optical fiber and integrated optical waveguides enable most of the components in a broadband sensing or communication system, including all of the analog-to-digital and digital processing hardware, to be situated many feet or even miles from the antennas or other sensors with almost no performance penalty. The anticipated presentation will highlight the advantages and other features of analog photonic systems (including some specific systems that the author has constructed and tested for the US Department of Defense), and will review and explain multiple techniques for optimizing their performance.

Daniel J. Blumenthal

Professor at University of California at Santa Barbara

Daniel J. Blumenthal received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1993, M.S.E.E. degree from Columbia University, New York, in 1988, and B.S.E.E., degree from the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, in 1981. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Blumenthal heads the Optical Communication and Photonic Integration (OCPI) Group and is Director of the Terabit Optical Ethernet Center (TOEC). He is a co-founder of Packet Photonics, Inc and Calient Networks, and holds 22 US patents. Dr. Blumenthal has authored or co-authored over 460 papers, has served as the Guest Editor for many international journals, and is co-author of Tunable Laser Diodes and Related Optical Sources (New York: IEEE–Wiley, 2005). Dr. Blumenthal is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow of the IEEE and Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA). He is recipient of a 1999 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), a 1994 National Science Foundation Young Investigator (NYI) Award, and a 1997 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award. He has served on the Board of Directors for National LambdaRail (NLR) and as an elected member of the Internet2 Architecture Advisory Council.

“Quiet Light” and Ultra-Narrow Linewidth Photonic Integrated Lasers and their Applications

Optical sources with near perfect linewidths and frequency stability approaching that of an atomic transition have ushered in the era of “quiet light.” These spectrally pure, ultra-stable sources serve as the heart of large-scale precision high-end scientific experiments used for time-keeping, positioning, quantum and precision spectroscopy and metrology are making the leap from the laboratory to the chip-scale. The basics of quiet light, the limiting sources of noise and drift, and how such light is measured and characterized will be briefly discussed. The generation and stabilization of quite light using a new class of stabilized photonic integrated Stimulated Brillouin Scattering (SBS) laser will be described. Applications of these quiet light sources will be described including atom cooling and the ARPA-e funded FRESCO energy efficient high capacity DCI coherent communications project.