Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

Project: Towards digital optical communications

Acronym: COST 291
Main Objective:
The primary objective of the COST Action “Towards Digital Optical Networks” is to focus on novel
network concepts and architectures exploiting the features and properties of photonic technologies, to
enable future telecommunications networks. It is aiming to propose a new generation of systems and
networks that will accommodate the unpredictable and growing size of data files and messages
exchanged and stored as well as real time services (e.g. voice, video etc) over global distances
requiring an agile Communication Grid supporting quality of services. These need to provide end-toend
bandwidth for transmission of traffic for applications such as information retrieval, downloading
(often multimedia) web software, exchange of various type of software (hundreds of Mbytes) and data
models (Gbytes) etc as well as real time multimedia applications.
These systems need to be very flexible and rapidly reactive to efficiently accommodate the abrupt and
unpredictable changes in traffic statistics introduced by current and future applications with low endto-
end latency. They will enable advanced features such as efficient and simple multicasting and
broadcasting of broadband signals. In general, they need to support a future proof, flexible, efficient
and bandwidth-abundant fiber-optic network infrastructure capable of supporting ubiquitous services
in a resilient manner offering protection and restoration capabilities as well as secure services to the
Transparency to various digital signals and protocols is required to eliminate the need for multilayer
complex network architectures suffering by poor scalability for data services, high latency,
complicated network management and high cost. This migration can be gradually achieved by
removing and/or integrating intermediate layers. Flat and upgradeable network architectures
supporting photonic core and access technologies with intelligent edge nodes at the interfaces will
form a universal infrastructure offering a variety of services supported by multiple operators. The ease
of maintenance, provisioning and resilient operation required in this type of networks will be achieved
through advanced routing and management mechanisms, eliminating the requirement for ever
increasing amounts of complex software raising the cost and limiting the network reliability and
This advanced photonic infrastructure will employ optical signal processing and dynamic impairment
management to eliminate the limitations of the analogue nature of traditional optical networks, dense
wavelength division multiplexing technologies for signal transmission and routing, and optical packet
and/or burst switching to provide fine bandwidth granularity, network efficiency and flexibility.
Funding: ESF/COST
Start Date: 01-10-2004
End Date: 01-10-2009
Team: Antonio Luis Jesus Teixeira
Groups: Optical Communications Systems – Av
Local Coordinator: Antonio Luis Jesus Teixeira
Links: Internal Page
Associated Publications