Research Overview

The CTVR research focuses on wireless and optical networks. The core research programme is funded by SFI. This work is further enhanced through a range of projects that flow from the core CTVR work and are funded through various different schemes. Below you will find an overview of the CTVR SFI Programme as well as our FP7 projects.

The CTVR SFI Programme

At the heart of CTVR is research programme designed in collaboration with our industry partners and funded by SFI. The current programme began is a five year pr0gramme which started in 2011. The focus of this extensive body of research is on the creation of optical and wireless networks that are evolvablesubmissive and sustainable.

We live in a time of unprecedented change. Traffic on our telecommunication networks has grown exponentially in the last decade. Many of the services and applications that exist now were not even imagined a few years ago. Though we can extrapolate some trends and make educated guesses, we cannot predict exactly what lies ahead. Networks that are designed with change in mind will be more robust to disruption caused by growing demands and changing user patterns and yet-unimagined applications. The risks associated with investment in these kinds of networks will be lower as they will be more durable and scalable. Networks that are designed with change in mind will make effective use of resources (e.g. spectrum, bandwidth, power, processing capabilities, cooling capabilities etc.) and ensure a sustainable future.

Evolvable networks have elegant paths to future.  To create evolvable networks we need to build flexibility and adaptability into the network using such technologies as tunable and adaptive photonics devices and reconfigurable radios. As well as designing key enabling technologies we also look at how these technologies fit together from the wider network perspective. Hence we think about flexibility on a network wide scale. We seek to map resources to where they are needed, when they are needed. We allow networks to be self-planning and self-organising. We also seek to understand where flexibility is not an option.

What we mean by sustainability in CTVR is that the network will have a persistent awareness of resource constraints such as manpower, energy, space, bandwidth, processing capabilities, storage, etc. We recognise that the scarcity of resources can be due to the limitsof physics or the finite nature of natural resources used to power the networks, and can be the result of prohibitive costs or static network resource management. What this means for our research is that we need to think about how networks and the components and devices that comprise the networks are designed in the first place as well as how a network uses the various resources it needs during runtime. The latter also demands a focus on how the functionality needed to deliver a persistent awareness.

To make a network submissive we avoid designing with particular resource ownership models in mind and instead seek to ensure that our networks can support many different models of ownership. The rules surrounding the use of the network should not, in as far as possible, unnecessarily label resources as belonging to one entity or another or unnecessarily stipulate which entity gets access to which resources. This means that the network architecture will be capable of supporting transient or even competing models of ownership as ownership of network elements (e.g., network resources such as bandwidth, processing power or memory, equipment, content, services, etc.) are transferred from one entity to another or shared by multiple entities or otherwise redistributed.

Within this programme we have research tasks under the broad headings of Wireless Networks, Optical Networking, Wireless Technologies, Optical Technologies and the Wireless/Optical Interface. We also have specialized work on Thermal Management.

The CTVR FP7 Projects

CTVR is involved in a number of different FP7 projects and COST Actions.

FP7 DISCUS: CTVR is the leader of the FP7 DISCUS Project. A number of the CTVR partners are involved in DISCUS and it is very much born out the CTVR view on future optical networks. The project goal is to exploit demonstrated technology and concepts needed to define and develop a new radical architectural concept that can enable an integrated wireless and FTTP future network which addresses the economic, energy consumption, capacity scaling, evolutionary, regulatory and service demand challenges arising from an FTTP enabled future.

FP7-CREW: Cognitive Radio Experimental World is an ideal project for CTVR as it leverages the work we have done in experimental cognitive radio testbeds. CREW is about creating a set of  federated wireless testbeds across Europe. The CTVR testbed can be remotely accessed by interested parties via the CREW initiative.

FP7-CogEU: This project has just finished. The project focsued on TV white space in Europe.  The main technical goals were to (1) Design, implement and demonstrate enabling technologies based on cognitive radio to support mobile applications over TVWS for spectrum sharing business models. (2) Quantify the impact of TVWS devices on DVB-T receivers and define methodologies for TVWS equipment certifications and compliance in the European regulatory context.

Fp7-FORGE: This project is about to start so more details will appear in time.