While the rapid deployment of wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) technologies have sustained the explosive and exponential network traffic growth in the past decade, the continuing trend of exponential bandwidth demand driven by data centers and emerging new services is demanding deployment of more scalable and flexible networking technologies. The legacy WDM technologies can support traffic up to multiple Terabits per seconds (Tb/s) on a single fiber, but this is not sufficient to support future traffic demands with peak link capacity beyond 10 Tb/s. Of particular interest are extreme-scale scientific applications requiring large-scale experiments or simulations that can generate Exabite-scale scientific data that may need to be distributed for data processing and analysis. Therefore, agile Terabit networks and technologies are needed in order to support this communication-intensive (Big Data) collaborative science. Optical Flex-Grid networking has shown new and effective capabilities in accommodating large bandwidth flows upon demand. To control EONs, Software-defined Networking (SDN) has been widely studied in recent years, in particular when based on the OpenFlow (OF) protocol for its open interface and flexibility in terms of network control and programming. Previous works on such a software-defined elastic optical networking (SD-EON) focused on single/multi-AS scenarios under the single operator premise. However, multi-AS networking architectures are very relevant in real operational scenarios to enhance network scalability and service reach. Therefore, how to support a multi-AS with multiple operators SD-EON is an important topic and needs to be carefully investigated. Note that each operator advertises partial information regarding the topology and connectivity of its AS. Finally, current and future Internet applications have been demanding more and more ubiquity, mobility, and bandwidth through portable platforms. While fiber optic networks provide 1~100 Tb/s capacity on each single-mode-fiber over thousands of kilometer distances, they are limited to wide area and metro networks, not readily accessible by mobile users. Leveraging new developments in Silicon Photonics components for coherent optical communications and radio-over-fiber mm-wave systems, can we bring > 100 Gb/s to mobile users with high quality of service end-to-end? Is it possible to make such networks ubiquitous and inexpensive for everyone? Can such networks be easily managed and controlled? Under the support of several funding agencies, (i.e. NSF, DoE and ARL), Prof. Yoo’s research team pursues many networking and photonic technologies that will enable the next generation of heterogeneous optical and optical-wireless networking, including (a) unified software-defined control and management plane architectures for multi-AS systems, (b) radio-over-fiber photonic technologies and architectures for mm-wave signals generation for future 5G networks, (c) dynamic optical arbitrary waveform generation and measurement (D-OAWG-OAWM) for flexibility in time-frequency domains, and (c) spatial division multiplexing (SDM) networking and systems for ultra-high capacity systems (e.g. orbital angular momentum (OAM) technology).

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(Left) Illustration of lexible networking with heterogeneous optical-wireless technologies at the physical layer and unified software-defined control and management plane. (Right) Integrated SiP OAWG-OAWM and mm-wave MIMO antennas; Integrated OAM Mux/Demux for Spatial Division Multiplexing.