WASPNET: A Wavelength Switched Packet Network

David K. Hunter, Mohamed H.M. Nizam, Meow C. Chia, Ivan Andonovic, Ken M. Guild, Anna Tzanakaki, Mike J. O'Mahony, John D. Bainbridge, Marc F. Stephens, Richard V. Penty, Ian H. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


WASPNET is an EPSRC-funded collaboration between three British universities: the University of Strathclyde, Essex University, and Bristol University, supported by a number of industrial institutions. The project -which is investigating a novel packet-based optical WDM transport network - involves determining the management, systems, and devices ramifications of a new network control scheme, SCWP, which is flexible and simplifies optical hardware requirements. The principal objective of the project is to understand the advantages and potential of optical packet switching compared to the conventional electronic approach. Several schemes for packet header implementation are described, using subcarrier multiplexing, separate wavelengths, and serial transmission. A novel node design is introduced, based on wavelength router devices, which reduce loss, hence reducing booster amplifier gain and concomitant ASE noise. The fabrication of these devices, and also wavelength converters, are described. A photonic packet switching testbed is detailed which will allow the ideas developed within WASPNET to be tested in practice, permitting the practical problems of their implementation to be determined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-129
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999


  • Packet switching
  • Routers
  • Wavelength division multiplexing
  • Wavelength switched packet networks (WASPNET)
  • Packet networks


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