RoF transmission of a IEEE 802.11 signal over passive optical network utilizing multimode fibers

Period: 2012 – 2015
Grant from: National Center for Science (NCN,
Status: current
Project leader: prof. J. Siuzdak
Participants: L. Maksymiuk, M. Kowalczyk, J. Tonski
The scientific objective of this project is to explore the possibility of extending the WiFi (IEEE 802.11) technology capabilities through the use of RoF (Radio over Fiber) using multimode fiber MMF (MultiMode Fiber in English). The basic purpose of WiFi is to enable wireless Internet access for devices such as a personal computer (laptop), a personal digital assistant or a cell phone. The area covered by such a network, so called hot-spot, depending on the number of (connected) Access Points (AP), may vary, extending over an area of a few rooms in a home network, up to several square kilometers in the urban networks. Publicly available (free) WiFi networks are often found in airport terminals, universities, and in some cities (at least parks, city centers, main streets). In general, the use of RoF technology for wireless networks means the use of so-called Remote Antenna Units (RAU). In such a network RAUs are connected over a fiber with Access Point and consist only of the antenna (a pair of antennas). As RAU does not process radio signals (just converts them from electrical to optical ones and vice versa), the transmission over fiber is transparent (i.e. IEEE 802.11 signal is not processed by any means). The application of RoF and RAU stations in addition to providing a better radio coverage allows a reduction in broadcast power, both by fixed terminals (RAU) and mobiles, as well as cost reduction. These advantages are maximized if the transmission between the AP and the RAU uses a multimode fiber. In all previous works concerning RoF transmission the optical network architecture was a point-to-point P2P configuration, between the AP and the RAU. The main scientific objective of the proposed project is basic research aimed to explore the possibility of WiFi signals in a passive network utilizing multimode optical fibers with more complex architectures, such as trees, and thus for the case of a point-to-multipoint P2MP transmission. It means that an AP communicates via the optical network with a number of RAUs. It is clear that in comparison with the usual configuration of P2P, the proposed P2MP optical configuration allows one to reduce costs, both by reducing the number of optical transceivers from the AP, as well as by reducing the total length of the fiber used. The project provides both a theoretical examination of the RoF signal transmission in passive optical networks using a multimode fiber, as well as an experimental determination of the quality of the received signal in such a network. Finally, based on the results obtained a wireless network will be designed and built utilizing a passive optical network based on multimode optical fibers.