Marie Curie project COMANDER paves the road towards a fully converged Next-Generation Fiber-Wireless network architecture
The research project COMANDER, "Converged Optical-Mobile Access Networks with Dynamic and Efficient Resource allocation", funded by the European Commission under Marie Curie Actions – Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways, completed successfully its activities delivering the most basic building blocks towards Fiber-Wireless networks exploiting existing photonic technologies.
COMANDER managed to deliver a number of breakthroughs towards a state of the art, cutting-edge and cost-efficient approach to the problem of Next-Generation access Networks (NGN) design. COMANDER was conceived almost 5 years ago upon the need to merge two distinct infrastructures, the optical and wireless part, into an amalgamated network capable of offering the best part of both worlds: the stability and ultra-high speeds of optical fiber networks with the agility and flexibility of wireless networks. Working towards its goals, the COMANDER consortium addressed the necessary framework across all network layers spanning from the overall network architecture and the Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol down to the physical layer and device level of the Converged Physical Layer Network Architecture (APM, CO, MT-MAC protocol). More specifically, two architectural scenarios for the converged FTTH plus-60GHz RoF network have been designed: one for compatibility with the Cloud-RAN paradigm and the second for compatibility with the GPONs. Following the development of the converged network architecture, intelligent Medium-Transparent Access Control protocols for network resource management were developed, achieving to evenly distribute network’s resources even when highly varying populations are connected to the Access Point Module. On a physical layer, COMANDER also successfully developed the photonic integrated chips and optical circuitry, that will be placed at the CO and the APM to act as the main functional building blocks of the converged Fiber-Wireless Network. With respect to the APM, a chip was designed and subsequently fabricated within the framework of a MPW run of the FP7 project JEPPIX-PARADIGM using III-V photonic platforms by both Oclaro and HHI foundries exploiting also efficient design transfer techniques and cross-platform designs, while a 60 GHz antenna unit was also simulated using a rectangular patch micro-strip antenna. At the same time, a cyclic AWGR on the CO side will undertake the communication between the APM’s while simultaneously reducing the latency at inter-APM communication requests. Finally, the complete COMANDER transmission link and application scenario was tested for various modulation formats (OOK and BPSK) in 60 GHz sub-carrier modulated signals, employing a Network Coding scenario for enhanced network throughput and reduced network congestion.
The consortium was headed by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) and comprised the Technical University of Berlin (Germany), and PhoeniX Software B.V. (Netherlands) and iQuadrat (IQU), bringing together experts from both industry and academia. Within the course of the COMANDER project, an overall count of 20 researchers were secondeed between the partners for a cumulative period of 261.5 months, achieving a fruitful exchange of knowledge and a harmonic partner collaboration. The invaluable collaboration and complementary expertise of the partners extended beyond the COMANDER project creating a long-lasting collaboration that led in the synthesis of two new successfully EU-funded projects (i) ICT-2016-2, “5G-PHOS- 5G integrated Fiber-Wireless networks exploiting existing photonic technologies for high-density SDN-programmable network architectures” and (ii) Marie-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) “5G STEP FWD-5G System Technological Enhancements Provided by Fiber Wireless Deployments” that will evolve the work done in COMANDER even further.
More information about the project goals and highlights can be found on its websiteBack to overview.