Chaos-based communications at high bit rates using commercial fibre-optic links

Argyris, Apostolos; Syvridis, Dimitris; Larger, Laurent; Annovazzi-Lodi, Valerio; Colet, Pere; Fischer, Ingo; García-Ojalvo, Jordi; Mirasso, Claudio R.; Pesquera, Luís; Shore K. Alan
Nature 438, 343-346 (2005)

Chaotic signals have been proposed as broadband information carriers with the potential of providing a high level of robustness and privacy in data transmission. Laboratory demonstrations of chaos-based optical communications have already shown the potential of this technology, but a field experiment using commercial optical networks has not been undertaken so far. Here we demonstrate high-speed long-distance communication based on chaos synchronization over a commercial fibre-optic channel. An optical carrier wave generated by a chaotic laser is used to encode a message for transmission over 120 km of optical fibre in the metropolitan area network of Athens, Greece. The message is decoded using an appropriate second laser which, by synchronizing with the chaotic carrier, allows for the separation of the carrier and the message. Transmission rates in the gigabit per second range are achieved, with corresponding bit-error rates below 10^-7. The system uses matched pairs of semiconductor lasers as chaotic emitters and receivers, and off-the-shelf fibre-optic telecommunication components. Our results show that information can be transmitted at high bit rates using deterministic chaos in a manner that is robust to perturbations and channel disturbances unavoidable under real-world conditions.

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