The National Science Foundation (NSF) has approved an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Optical Wireless Applications (COWA), housed in the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The new center will be mainly supported by participating industry members for the first five-year period, including seed funding from the NSF. It will substantially impact the advanced technology of optical wireless systems and applications for imaging, sensing, and communication networks. A joint effort with Pennsylvania State University, COWA will be led on the Georgia Tech side by Gee-Kung Chang, Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) Eminent Scholar and Byers Endowed Professor in Optical Networking at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Mohsen Kavehrad, a chair professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, will lead the Center’s efforts at Penn State.
The goal of the center is to foster an innovative research environment driven by industrial needs to develop leading edge, radio-over-fiber technologies for delivering multi-gigabit, multi-band wireless services over optical access networks with 100x more capacity at higher bit rates and longer reach than current wireless communications. Four ECE professors at Georgia Tech–Nikil S. Jayant, Raghupathy Sivakumar, Stephen E. Ralph, and John R. Barry–will work with Dr. Chang in this new center. Their research tasks will include developing integrated opto-electronics components with smart optical-wireless interfaces necessary to facilitate collaborative functions and features among digital, RF, and optical systems.