Programmable Transponder for Future Optical Networks (PATRON)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Essex
Department Name: Computer Sci and Electronic Engineering


Today's telecom operators are facing an increasing need to provide users with dynamic and high-capacity network connectivity services. This is mainly driven by deployment of the FTTx technologies and the emergence of ever more bandwidth demanding, dynamic and heterogeneous e-services such as 3D games, virtual worlds, and network based high quality media applications such as HD and UHD IPTV.As 100 Gbps Ethernet is becoming commercially available, researchers are focusing on 1Tbps transport by investigation solutions for achieving bit rates at 100Gbps and beyond per wavelength channels which can be deployed in a dynamic network environment. A promising solution for transmission of high bit rate at 100Gbps and beyond per channel is optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (O-OFDM). It can take advantage of multi-level modulation schemes; enable the efficient compensation of transmission impairments and also adaptation of data rate and transmission format of the transmission channel. This features make the O-OFDM technology an attractive solution for future optical Internet where dynamic bandwidth allocation is requiredThe PATRON proposal combines advantage of multi-level modulations, Optical OFDM multiple Access (O-OFDMA) concept and network elements programmability and proposes an advanced programmable optical transmitter and receiver capable of transmitting different user data with different bit rates and different modulation format in a dynamic O-OFDMA core network. The research novelties of this project are:1- Design and implement a programmable O-OFDMA transmitter and receiver that can be attached to a commercial electronic edge router or optical cross connect and constitute edge or core router of an O-OFDMA network.2-Deployment and adaptation of O-OFDMA technology in core optical networks by proposing a novel transmitter/receiver capable of mapping real time data from metro/access network into high speed subcarriers at different wavelength channels in a core O-OFDMA network3- Core network programmability through on-demand and programmable network partitioning and bandwidth allocation with fine granularity at wavelength and subcarrier level enabled by the proposed transmitter/receiverThe major outcome of this project will be an implementation of a programmable O-OFDMA transmitter and receiver supporting the above functionalities, which will be demonstrated and validated in a lab trial.The outcome of PATRON project can potentially enable network network operators to partition their network to several segments, each with different bandwidth and QoS capability. The partitioning criteria such as bandwidth and QoS can be defined based on user or application requirementsThis proposal aims to open a new field of research for the Principle Investigator (PI) inline with the current activities within High Performance Networking Group (HPNG) in University of Essex. . The outcomes of PATRON will enable the PI to advance the HPNG rich portfolio in two dimensions: 1- high-speed optical transport for future core optical network based on optical OFDM technology and 2- programmable and application-ware optical networking for future Internet based on optical OFDMA technology. It will enable the PI to build his own independent research field by further developing the novel concept of optical core network infrastructure partitioning using O-OFDMA networking technology.

Planned Impact

PATRON is expected to have a significant potential impact with respect to the relevant key objectives and points recently published in two reports: 1- Digital Britain, The Final Report and, 2- EPSRC Economic Impact Baseline (2009) . The following describes PATRON contribution towards the expected impacts. Impact A. Creating new business and attracting investment Two major outcomes of PATRON are: 1- a novel programmable and application-aware network partitioning/segmentation scheme 2- programmable and application-aware high-speed transport technology. These are two key outcome which potentially can enable the UK core network infrastructure to support new classes of commercial Internet applications at large scale resulting wider market opportunity. Based on this two major outcome PATRON can contribute in a business model where complex services with complex attributes can be created over a network infrastructure that can be tailored to applications' needs. Impact B. Improving public services PATRON through its QoS based high-bandwidth and application-ware networking scheme will provide dedicated support for distributed and network base applications. It defines a transport technology and networking concept that enables all stake holders in public services (i.e network operators, application and service providers) to benefit each from their own customized and independent part of infrastructure based on a on common optical network infrastructure. Impact C. Strengthened positioning of UK in the field of future Internet technologies and reinforced UK leadership in this area The PATRON innovations aim to open a new filed which has potential to establish significant progress beyond current state-of-the-art in both optical transport technology and programmable networking with the objective to address the future Internet network requirements and therefore reinforcing the UK leadership in this area PATRON aim to maximize the impact of its scientific and technological achievements using three main exploitation activities as described below: Activity 1. Training of highly skilled professionals ready for future Internet technologies The main training activity in PATRON will include joint co-supervision (between PI and BT) of MSc thesis directly relevant to PATRON. Furthermore PI will organize a one day training workshop with speaker from BT with the aim to transfer knowledge gained through PATRON projects. Activity 2. Dissemination of knowledge and project results to potential stakeholders Network operators, network equipment vendors, application developers and service providers can potentially benefit from PATRON project outcomes. PI is an active researcher and task leader in EU funded Network of Excellent projects targeting optical network technologies suitable for future Internet technologies (i.e, EUROFOS) with strong collaboration from EU network operators, network equipment vendors, application developers and service providers . PI will organize the proposed PATRON one-day workshops collocated with this project's events to ensure maximum participation of relevant potential stakeholders and effective transfer of knowledge. PI is also an active member and project administrator in High Performance Networking Group of OGF standardization body and therefore he can effectively facilities transfer of PATRON outcomes to relevant standardization activities. Activity 3. Dissemination of project results to relevant project out side Europe PI is work-package leader in two EU projects (GEANT3 and GEYSER) which have close collaboration with GENI in USA and AKARI future internet initiatives in Japan. PI will disseminate PATRON project results to relevant activities of GENI and AKARI through presentation and talks organised via GEYSER and GENT3 projects.

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/H051678/1 01/03/2011 31/08/2012 £101,183
EP/H051678/2 Transfer EP/H051678/1 01/09/2012 28/02/2013 £28,230
Description 1- Impairment-aware optical network virtualization algorithm supporting optical OFDM, mixed bit rate and single bit rate

2- Simulation model and tools for optical network virtualization based on optical OFDM, mixed bit rate and single bit rate

3- Analytical model for optical network virtualization algorithm supporting optical OFDM, mixed bit rate and single bit rate

4- Hardware simulation model and tools for programmable and sliceable optical transponder based on optical OFDM

5- Hardware implementation of programmable and sliceable optical OFDM transmitter
Exploitation Route 1- prototype implementation and industrialisation

2- research on convergence of optical and wireless at the edge of network
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)

Description PATRON project is a first grant with limited resources and budget . Taking this into account , its outcomes led to progress beyond current state-of-the-art in both optical transport technology and programmable/software defined networking. These include: 1-Impairment-aware optical network virtualisation algorithm based on optical OFDM 2- programable optical transponder based on optical OFDM supporting optical network virtualisation Outcomes of this project presented in several journal publications (project outcomes) and invited talks in major EU and USA optical communication conferences i.e. ECOC 2012 (Invited talk WS12:Control Plane architectures for new optical switching technologies) and OFC 2013 (invited talk in special symposium on "Enabling the Cloud.). Also outcomes of this project contributed in development of joint research activity with two European projects : 1- EU_FP7 network of excellence: EUROFOS and 2- GEANT3 Project in research activity on infrastructure virtualization. Finally, outcomes of this project created Hardware and simulation platform for training PhD students and also a new research topic on sliceable multi-dimensional optical transponder undertaken by a PhD student. The PATRON outcome ed to development and analysis of : 1-Impairment-aware optical network virtualisation mechanism based on optical OFDM. This includes both heuristic algorithm development and analytical modelling 2- programable optical transponder based on optical OFDM supporting optical network virtualisation. This includes both hardware prototype and simulation/emulation.
Sector Cultural
Impact Types Cultural

Description EUROPEAN FP7 project GEANT3 
Organisation Nordic Infrastructure for Research & Education
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution research collaboration between GEANT3- JRA1 TASK2 on Photonic Switching and experimental Photonic Facilities and JRA1 TASK4 on network virtualisation. examine advances and issues related to photonic networking with emphasis on capacities (100+Gbps), interoperability, control and management as well asl network virtualisation
Start Year 2012
Description European FP7 network of excellence (EUROFOS) 
Organisation Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration and Contribution to a European FP7 network of excellence on "Pan-European Photonics Task Force: Europe?s Expertise on Photonic Subsystems (EURO-FOS)". Collaboration for a joint publication.
Start Year 2011