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Dynamic Optical Networks


Reconfigurable optical networks with distributed control have the capability to dynamically (and rapidly) respond to variable traffic demands. This has the potential to significantly reduce the operating network costs and provide efficiencies by providing bandwidth more efficiently in terms of required resources and energy consumed.

This coupled with the recent introduction of coherent optical reception and digital signal processing into optical transmission opens up a new avenue for flexible optical networking. Now, both the transmitter and receiver can be reconfigured to provide wavelengths and bandwidth on demand.

Our research lies in the development of dynamic or burst compatible components and subsystems, and exploring the requirements and performance of these in dynamic network systems applications ranging from access to core. The research combines characterisation of optical devices with system modelling and experimental verification in a realistic network scenario in order to assess the suitability, performance and requirements of these devices in dynamic networks.

Research areas include:

  • Fast wavelength tunable lasers for reconfigurable transmitters
  • Burst tolerant optical amplification
  • Digital burst mode receivers


Dynamic optical networks that are able to offer flexible bandwidth on demand and efficiently use the limited network resources are potentially attractive for supporting the future high bandwidth intra- and inter- data centre networks, and the access and core networks that allow customers to connect to these centres. This project focused on the development of physical layer subsystems that are required to implement such a network and assessed the interoperability of these subsystems in a network context. Read more...

Recent Publications

Thomsen, B. C., Maher, R., Millar, D. S., & Savory, S. J. (2011, December 12). Burst Mode Receiver for 112 Gb/s DP-QPSK with parallel DSP. OPTICS EXPRESS19

Mendinueta, J. M. D., Cao, B., Thomsen, B. C., & Mitchell, J. E. (2011, December 12). Performance of an optical equalizer in a 10 G wavelength converting optical access network. OPTICS EXPRESS, 19

Mendinueta, J. M. D., Mitchell, J. E., Bayvel, P., & Thomsen, B. C. (2011, July 18). Digital dual-rate burst-mode receiver for 10G and 1G coexistence in optical access networks. OPT EXPRESS, 19(15), pp14060-14066.

Benn C. Thomsen, Robert Maher, David S. Millar, Seb J. Savory, “Burst Mode Receiver for 112 Gb/s DP-QPSK,” Proceedings of European Conference on Optical Communication 2011.

Robert Maher and Benn Thomsen, “Dynamic Linewidth Measurement Technique Using Digital Intradyne Coherent Receivers,” Proceedings of European Conference on Optical Communication 2011

Delgado Mendinueta, J. M., Bayvel, P., & Thomsen, B. C. (2011). Digital lightwave receivers: An experimentally validated system model. IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, 23(6), 338-340.

Bianciotto, A., Puttnam, B. J., Thomsen, B., & Bayvel, P. (2009, June). Optimization of Wavelength-Locking Loops for Fast Tunable Laser Stabilization in Dynamic Optical Networks. Journal of Lightwave Technology, 27, 2117 -2124. doi:10.1109/JLT.2008.2008400

Puttnam, B., Thomsen, B. C., Lopez, A., & Bayvel, P. (2008). Experimental investigation of optically gain-clamped EDFAs in dynamic optical burst-switched networks. OSA Journal of Optical Networking, 7, 151-159.