The objective is to develop an all-optical transport network which can provide new infrastructure for broadband services. The network is flexible and transparent and offers an array of techniques to simplify telecommunications network structures. It can be integrated with existing or new telecommunications networks and with network management systems to provide a broadband transport that will cope with future capacity demands having improved performance and reliability.
The objective of the research was to develop an all optical transport layer which can form an extension to a telecommunications network hierarchy. The network layer is configurable and transparent, making it adaptable to a variety of applications and able to carry multiple transmission formats. It can be integrated with network management systems to provide a broadband transport layer that will cope with future capacity demands with improved performance and reliability.
The MWTN (multiwavelength transport network) is based on the combination of optical amplifiers, optical switches, tuneable optical filters and lasers. Multiwavelength operation increases the capacity and enhances the flexibility of the network. In a node, local traffic is diverted into the electronic layer by wavelength and spatial selection whilst through traffic remains in the optical domain.Optical systems are used where they are best, in handling and switching large blocks of traffic, leaving electronic systems to process smaller blocks using conventional digital switching.
The research has resulted in a specification which has been agreed for the mid term demonstrator, covering the component and subsystem developments and an outline programme has been prepared. Transmission performance models have been developed and applied in the preparation of the specification. Network hierarchical and architectural options have been reported and an architectural analysis of a metropolitan asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) network has been conducted by means of a case study. Component technology developments are well under way now for both mid term and final demonstrator programmes and preparatory work for setting up and characterizing system test beds has been completed in some work packages.
The MWTN is based on the combination of optical amplifiers, optical switches, tuneable optical filters and lasers. Multi wavelength operation increases the capacity and enhances the flexibility of the network. In a node, local traffic is diverted into the electronic layer by wavelength and spatial selection whilst through traffic remains in the optical domain. Optics is used where it is best, in handling and switching large blocks of traffic, leaving electronics to process smaller blocks using conventional digital switching.
The project is organised into three sub-projects: network studies, component technology and network integration. The network integration sub project combines transmission, switch and line sub-systems and stage demonstrations. The component technology sub-project develops selected component types and optical interconnection systems and deliver modules to the network integration sub-project for the demonstrators. Network studies support the design process, co-ordinate the development of a network specification, validate the design approach and also identify architectural options. Inputs in this area include contributions from the three major network operator partners.
- Identification of efficient new network architectures employing an optical network layer.
- Increased overall network flexibility, reliability and resilience.
- Integration of an optical network layer with other network, service and management systems.
- To identify evolutionary paths for implementing the MWTN optical network layer on existing networks.
- To identify the need for new standards and generate pre-standard views.
MWTN will provide a high capacity optical network layer for the transport of broadband optical components and enable network management techniques for optical networks to be explored and developed.
The consortium is ideally placed to exploit project results as manufacturers and major network operators are each involved. For the network operators the studies will indicate likely evolution strategies for the telecommunications network and hence facilitate strategic planning. Deployment within a real demonstrator of advanced components and sub-systems yielded by the project will help the manufacturing partners develop their expertise and products.
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