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All the colors of the rainbow, and then some

Submitter: Paul Boven
Description: The atmosphere has several 'windows' where it is transparent to electromagnetic radiation. Examples are the optical window, which allows us to see the stars at night, and the radio window, which enables us to do (radio) astronomy.

Optical telecommunications fiber has several of these 'windows' too. These are all in the infrared part of the spectrum. In the picture above you see several fiber optic modules for different wavelengths, and behind them a module with built-in gratings to allow the simultaneous use of multiple wavelengths in the same fiber.

ASTRON, LOFAR and JIVE collaborated to install this equipment on one of the fibers that connects Westerbork and Dwingeloo. This week we used the extra capability to transfer e-VLBI data from WSRT to JIVE at a rate of 1024Mb/s, a rate that the network could not handle previously.
Copyright: Paul Boven
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