The group "OptiKom" of Graz University of Technology deals with research and development in the field of optical communications with special emphasis on Free Space Optics (FSO) and they have been working and developing optical systems for more than 15 years. The group specializes in studying the atmospheric conditions effecting free space optical links and in contrast to terrestrial FSO also FSO links in space are being researched, and in evaluating different network architectures for wireless optical solutions.
Currently the group is involved in state of the art research and development of "High Speed Reliable FSO links", the work is focused upon producing fully operable Ethernet based gigabit systems and to enhance the system performance using special modulation and channel coding techniques, particularly well suited to the FSO environment. State of the art research in improved modem design for FSO is also pursued, with projects like developing estimation and equalization algorithms, and later plans to develop adaptive coded-modulation and intelligent switchover architecture between FSO and RF Links. The group contributed heavily to several COST actions, EU projects like SatNEx-1 and SatNEx-2 and South-East-Europe. A number of ESA projects was successfully done with the collaboration of companies and other research institutions.
Professor Dr Leitgeb, who has been involved in active research in optical communications since 1994, has been the project leader for projects like OptiKom-F and LEDKom-F, and was the AUSTRIAN MC-delegate and project coordinator of COST 270, leads the group. Current research activities are around contracts with ESA and recent COST actions. Professor Leitgeb is taking care about science; he organizes a yearly conference to give researchers a platform to present their latest results.
The group has over 200 international publications in different journals and conferences, and keeps contributing every year to major conferences and journals, like the SPIE and the IEEE. The group "OptiKom" currently has three full time and about four part time PhD students and quite a few diploma and master thesis are being supervised. OptiKom has considerable experience in the field and has demonstrated high bit rate FSO-MMW links operating at a MMW frequencies near 40GHz in foggy environments.