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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/E04610X/1
Title: Future Photonic Networks
Principal Investigator: Simeonidou, Professor D
Other Investigators:
O'Mahony, Professor M Guild, Dr K Walker, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Computing and Electronic Systems1
Organisation: University of Essex
Scheme: Platform Grants
Starts: 01 October 2007 Ends: 30 June 2011 Value (£): 715,730
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Optical Communications
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Communication networks are in a rapid state of change. The spread of broadband access has fuelled the growth of Internet services and associated network traffic. In addition there is now a diversity of users, scientific, business and domestic who require networks to satisfy their radically different requirements. Scientific users may require access on a global level to computing resources (Grid computing) or domestic users may require large bandwidths to support image sharing or music downloading. These demands require new network infrastructures and control techniques to be studied . This proposal seeks Platform funding to underpin its work in understanding how optical Grid infrastructures, broadband access and core networks should best be designed to meet exacting future requirements. In the Grid networking area Essex has established itself as a centre of expertise in the application of optical technology to Grid networking. A new EU project, together with a new dark fibre infrastructure enabled by JISC, will allow the interconnection of Essex to Europe and the US [to National Research and Educational Networks] enabling international research into the networking protocols and hardware necessary to link users on a global scale. Questions studied for example, include understanding how to interconnect supercomputers to provide large computing resources to scientific and commercial users. Others are how to support astronomers who need to interconnect remote radio telescopes, or particle physicists who need to collect and transport huge data streams from collisions in particle accelerators. This proposal seeks Platform funding to ensure our expertise established in this area can be maintained between projects.In the telecommunication networks area the focus is on future optical switching approaches, how they are integrated with current networks, and the broadband access techniques needed to connect users on a wired or wireless basis. In recent years Essex has developed comprehensive test beds for switching approaches such as optical packet and burst switching. Current research aims at designing very high capacity networks [>40 Gbps per channel] and understanding how a multi-layered network comprising optical and electronic switching might be best designed. In addition future national and international networks will be heterogeneous comprising optical and wireless approaches together with different switching technologies [eg packet and circuit switching]. Existing projects will support limited demonstrators on the dark fibre link between Essex and Cambridge; it is our intention also to establish a multi-layer, multi-technology test bed at Essex to test out future scenarios.Broadband access is the key to enable users to access network resources and so research in this area is fundamental to our studies and experiments. There are many exciting directions for access, in particular we will focus on techniques based on wireless and fibre using software enhanced methodologies.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.sx.ac.uk