Bislett, Oslo
Application deadline: 
15 August 2021

Call for a PhD student in Anomaly detection in fiber optical communication systems using polarization sensing 

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About the Position

The start date of the position is no later than 1.1.2022.

In the Center for Resilient Networks and Applications (CRNA) of SimulaMet, we are now seeking a PhD student for the project “Anomaly detection in fiber optical communication systems using polarization sensing”

Would you like to be part of transforming the fiberoptical telecommunications network into a high-density sensor network revealing security threats and safety hazards?

The optical fiber telecommunication infrastructure has a widespread deployment being heavily deployed in the transport network connecting countries and continents as well as in the access network with fiber to the home (FTTH). The society relies on Tele and data communication services delivered through the optical fibre based infrastructure. Vulnerabilities, like potential fibre breaks and eavesdropping, are therefore important to reveal, enabling high availability and security of the infrastructure.

By using the optical fibres inside the fibre cables as sensors, any vibration or movement of the fibre-cable can be detected. Hence, e.g. attempts of eaves-dropping, digging activity close to buried cables or fishing activity close to sub-sea cables, can be detected. Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), sensing of backreflected light, and sensing state of polarization of the light propagating from the transmitter to the receiver of a telecom system are both methods that can be applied. The optical state of polarization (SOP) is extremely sensitive to mechanical disturbances of the optical fiber cable and is a promising parameter to be used for sensing over long distances. The SOP information is already used in modern coherent optical communication receivers, and in principle a SOP sensing system can be fully integrated with an optical communication system. SOP based sensing systems do have inherent limitations given that SOP is used as a transmission modulation method, but it may represent a very capable method complementing conventional DAS systems.

The main objective of the PhD project is to propose and develop monitoring and analysis methods with the goal of revealing abnormal physical movements of the optical fibre indicating security or availability vulnerabilities. The monitoring should be possible to integrate with long-distance data-communication optical transmission systems. The goal is to perform field tests on optical fiber infrastructure operated by Tampnet AS, with simultaneous recording using a DAS system. Signal processing methods, including machine learning methods, to identify and differentiate e.g. geophysical activities from man-made activities will be addressed. In the Centre of Geophysical Forecasting (CGF) led by Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), polarization sensing will be applied as a method for sensing of geophysical activity like e.g. earthquakes. The candidate will work closely with Tampnet AS that will provide access to fiber infrastructure for experiments, and with CGF for access to relevant data and methods for processing of data.  


Optical sensing, availability, vulnerability, optical networks, PhD, Simula, optical fiber, subsea fibre, security, PhD, Simula, 


PhD Student Candidate Profile 

We are looking for interested candidates who satisfy the first two requirements and at least one of the three optional requirements:  

  • Good understanding of basic optical networking.  
  • Fluency in R or Python 
  • A solid background in signal processing is a major advantage  
  • Familiarity with machine learning is a major advantage  
  • Familiarity with Linux systems is a plus 


  • Masters of science in computer science, physics, photonics, electrical engineering or a similar subject area
  • An average GPA of at least C in Bachelor and at least B for Masters
  • Fluency in English both written and spoken
  • Good understanding of fibre optical networks
  • Good understanding of optical network experimental methods
  • Familiarity with basic IP networking, MPLS, OTN and Ethernet. 
  • Familiarity with machine learning is a major advantage 
  • Familiarity in R, Python and C/C++ is a plus
  • Familiarity with Linux systems is a plus


We offer 

  • Excellent opportunities for performing high quality research, as part of a highly competent and motivated team of international researchers and engineers.
  • An informal and inclusive international working environment.
  • Generous support for travel and opportunities to build international networks, through established collaboration with industry, exchange programs and research visits with other universities, and funding to attend conferences.
  • Modern office facilities in the center of Oslo, Bislett. 
  • A competitive salary starting from NOK 482 200
  • Numerous benefits: access to company cabin, BabyBonus arrangements, sponsored social events, generous equipment budgets (e.g., computer, phone and subscription), subsidized canteen meals and monthly bus pass, comprehensive travel/health insurance policy, etc.
  • Relocation assistance: accommodation, visas, complimentary Norwegian language courses, etc.
  • Administrative research support: e.g., quality assurance process for grant proposals (including RCN and EU programs).
  • Wellness and work-life balance. Our employees’ health and well-being is a priority and we encourage them to make use of our flexible work arrangements to help balance their work and home lives efficiently.


Application Requirements

Interested applicants are requested to submit the following:

  • Curriculum vitae: summarize your educational background, working experience (in particular, any relevant academic or industrial work), list of scientific publications, etc
  • Cover letter: outline your motivation for applying, relevant experience and qualifications, research interests and how/why you are qualified for the position;
  • Transcripts from Bachelor and Master degrees 

To avoid misplacement, please make sure to include your first and last name in the filenames of all documents that you submit to us.


Application deadline

Aug 15, 2021 Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis. The positions will be filled as soon as possible


If there are questions specific to the position, please contact Senior research scientist Steinar Bjørnstad ( or Research Professor Ahmed Elmokashfi (


About Simula and Norway

Simula Metropolitan is a research unit that is jointly owned by Simula Research Laboratory and Oslo Metropolitan University. It is the home of Simula’s research activities on networks and communications, machine learning, and IT management, and it is OsloMet’s strategic partner in research, PhD- and MSc- education in digital engineering. Simula Metropolitan is organized as a limited company and it is part of the Simula lab.

Simula's main objective is to create knowledge about fundamental scientific challenges that are of genuine value for society. This is achieved through high-quality research, education of graduate students, industry collaboration, technology transfer, and commercialization. Since 2001, scientific evaluations conducted by the Research Council of Norway have repeatedly placed Simula at the forefront of international research in ICT. The most recent in-depth evaluation was published in 2017, grading the full range of research at Simula as “excellent”.

Simula appreciates diversity. We currently employ approximately 155 individuals from 35 countries and strive to create a family-friendly working environment. We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage women to apply.

Simula has a close collaboration with leading universities in Norway and abroad, both in terms of research and education, and facilitates extended research stays abroad. Our Master's and PhD students conduct their research at Simula, and attend courses and receive their degrees from university partners. 

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