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PhD Topics

Optical Communication Systems

Optical Wireless: The use of optical signals for wireless transmission has become established as an alternative to radio frequency (RF) transmission (often in the visible range, “Li-Fi”). This is particularly true where RF usage is not possible. Two areas of interest that fit this description are (a) underwater transmission and (b) intravehicular communications. In both of these areas, the Connected Systems Research Group is at the forefront of UK research activity. Therefore, applications are particularly welcomed that address aspects of the determination of the performance of coding methods, modulation schemes and protocols for these channels.

Wavelength Division Multiplexed (WDM) networks: Within the core of the Internet, only optical fibre can provide the multi-gigabit transmission rates needed. However, the relentless rise in consumer data traffic means that the current electrical switching and routing need to become all-optical. At the same time, the same pressures mean that the last mile of the network (the access network) needs upgrading too. There are research opportunities in the modelling of the use of optical amplifiers, novel light sources, passive optical networks and improved receiver designs.

Molecular Communications

The term nanotechnology has become embedded in popular culture but at its heart is the utilisation of nanoscale devices (nano-machines) to perform socially useful tasks such as medical interventions. As a result of their size, nano-machines include only limited communications and data processing functions, needing to communicate with each other to form nanoscale networks. Molecular communication using diffusion is one way to do this and the investigation of models to predict the performance of this communication system forms a rich vein of potential topics for research.

Body Area Networks 

Wireless body area networks (WBANs) are becoming increasingly significant for numerous applications in e-health and biosensor technology given their low power consumption, simple structure requirements and potentially fast transmission data rates. Recent developments have concerned antenna technologies and wireless communication systems but surprisingly little work has been published to date accurate predictions of in-body transmission. A path loss model developed at Warwick enables a range of projects to be undertaken that include the use of relaying and protocol design for WBANs.