Software and Hardware


The Optical Networks Lab is equipped with embedded processors on FPGAs and GS/s ADCs/DACS for complex signal generation, a PON test-bed for the transmission of LTE and advance signalling formats, 12.5Gbit/s BERT set, LTE arbitrary waveform generator and video servers and clients for live HD video streaming.

Software tools include VPI, OPNET Modeller with wireless suite and System Level LTE simulator in MATLAB/C.

Software facilities


Full research license of OPNET modeller with LTE suite for the development of:

  • DBA MAC protocols for GPONs and XGPONs
  • Developments of green networks
  • TWDM-PON protocol and algorithms
  • System level simulation of wireless (LTE) networks and convergence with optics for IP backhauling investigations
  • OFDMA-PON protocol developments


VPI transmission maker Optical Systems, Optical Amplifiers and Photonic Circuits for modelling of:

  • Link-level simulations (e.g. RoF and CPRI) of optical and wireless convergence
  • TDM/WDM integrations
  • Photonic systems for short-range, access, metro and long haul optical transmission systems
  • Evaluation and testing of multiplexing formats such as OFDMA
  • Advance transmission techniques
  • Cosimulation with MATLAB and C for development of customised components and systems


  • System level model of LTE and LTE-A networks with coordinated transmission
  • Simulation of up to 19 cells networks with up to 30 UEs per sector
  • Wrap-around simulation technique for smaller cells also possible
  • Typical transmission modes of the LTE supported (i.e. CLSM, OLSM and TxD)
  • The model allows development of novel scheduling algorithms
  • Appropriate interference modelling at the cell edges for effective CoMP simulations

Hardware facilities

A highlight of the available components and systems is provided below:

  • FPGA evaluation boards with Xilinx Virtex-6 chips for system-on-chip design
  • 2.5 and 1 GS/s  ADCs and DACs for producing up to 10 Gbps data rates with complex transmission formats such as OFDMA
  • Developments of digital signal processing for OFDMA-PONs, complex QAM constellation diagrams for elastic PONs and other complex high speed transmission techniques
  • Embedded system design for uploading layer-2 codes on the software defined hardware
  • Analog front-end circuits with high bandwidth IQ-mixers, that provide an interface to the FPGA boards, enable transmission of high data rates
  • Real-time validation setups
  • Video servers and clients for full HD streaming
  • Multi-channel LTE waveform generator and analyser with RF frequency between 125 MHz-6 GHz
  • LTE RoF testbed for access and long reach networks
  • PON distribution with maximum of 84 km span and 32 split
  • 12.5 Gbps BERT set for access and long reach PON evaluation
  • Optical amplifiers (EDFAs and SOAs) for long reach networks and pre-amplification
  • Long wavelength, low cost lasers such as VCSELs