TM8106 Optical Networking

This course will be taught every second year.

Learning objectives

The overall learning objectives of this course are:


  • To get a basic understanding of physical properties of optical networks
  • To get a profound understanding of protocols applied in optical networks: MPLS, GMPLS, MPLS-TP, Ethernet PBB-TE.
  • To get a profound understanding of optical switching methods and networking techniques, circuit, packet, hybrid, burst and flow.
  • To get a basic understanding of optical components and optical node design


  • communicate, reason and creatively thinking about optical networks
  • To be able to design optical networks, taking both physical transmission properties and optical networking constraints into account
  • To be able to evaluate performance of optical packet switched nodes using discrete event simulation methods

Course Description

The course will give the student in-depth understanding of the functionality of optical networks and how they may be implemented. How an optical network can work together with an IP-based network infrastructure for ensuring both high reliability and performance in access, metro and transport networks, is paid special attention. Protocols, e.g. MPLS, GMPLS, T-MPLS, Ethernet PBB-TE and RSVP-TE will be adressed. The topics covered includes building blocks for optical networks and systems.

Included is an introduction to optical components, principles and functionality in optical network elements as well as basic physical principles and properties and constraints in optical fiber transmission.

Principles and the function of optical circuit switched networks, both network elements like reconfigurable add/drops and optical cross-connects as well as the principle of a wavelength routed optical network are covered.

Finally, up-to-date research in optical packet switched node and network architectures is studied.

Learning outcome

Learn basic principles of circuit and packet switched optical networks. Develop skills in analysing how higher layer protocols may interact with the functionality of the optical layer, given the logical and physical contraints of the optical layer. Gain insight into how optical networks can be implemented given their physical limitations.

Learning methods and activities

Interactive lectures and colloquia. It is expected that the students are well prepared in advance before participating. Obligatory excercises. One of the excercises will be discrete event simulation of performance in an optical network.

Basic knowledge of telecommunication systems for transport networks, e.g. as given by the course TTM4105 Access and transport networks and TTM1. Basic knowledge of object oriented programming and modelling of information and communication systems is advantageous