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DOPAnT project aims to develop wide-band optical signal amplifier using combined doped fibers and efficient clad-pumping technique to achieve high and uniform gain and improved performance for fiber optical communication systems.

Aim of the DOPAnT project and all the planned research activities are fully in line with the goals and priorities of EUROPE 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It also tackles the following Latvia’s Smart Specialization Strategy (RIS3) growth priorities:
1) Increase of energy-efficiency including development of new materials, optimization of manufacturing processes, introduction of new technologies, usage of alternative energy sources and other solutions.
2) Development of modern Information and communications technologies (ICT) for private and public sector.
3) Development of knowledge base and human capital in knowledge areas where Latvia has comparative advantages and that are significant for economy transformation process, including RIS3 specialization areas and ICT Key Enabling Technologies (e.g. photonics, advanced materials).

The outcome of the project corresponds to future growth sectors in which products and services with high added value exist or may arise. As a result this interdisciplinary project will have a positive social impact at national and European level. It will increase Latvian scientific competitiveness and contribute towards national economy and other spheres of development. Implementation of the DOPAnT project will promote development of new and existing enterprises specializing in the production of optical components. Industry development will contribute also for scientific institutions (RTU Institute of Telecommunications (RTU IT) and Institute of Solid State Physics University of Latvia (ISSP UL)) in a form of collaboration and external funding.
Topicality of optical amplifiers lays in the fact that optical transmission systems undergo rapid development due to increase in the amount of data to be transmitted. According to the latest company CISCO forecast global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next 5 years and will reach 3.3 Zettabytes per year until year 2021. Reasons for this are ever-increasing number of end-users as well as new and improved quality existing services. Consequently higher data rates are required to provide information transmission in a real time. This brings new challenges for optical transmission systems where one of them is amplification of optical signals. Optical amplifiers are very topical also in the context of signal processing techniques based on appliance of nonlinear optical effects. For example, multiple wavelength light sources, wavelength converters, all-optical regenerators, etc. Such applications typically require high optical power to initiate required non-linearity.
Research in the field of doped fiber amplifiers has been very comprehensive in relation to different dopant and co-doped fiber optical properties. Cladding-pump technique applications for amplifiers also have been studied extensively. What is found to be topical research direction is a combination of both solutions (co-doped fiber and cladding pumping). There have been demonstrations of these concepts showing possible wavelength bands and gain figures. However, significant further research is required on expected amplifier gain flatness, noise factor, signal quality, pump source electrical to optical efficiency, and amplification optical to optical efficiency, etc.

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