The current ADRENALINE testbed® has been developed in the scope of multiple research and technology transfer projects since its inception (circa 2002) addressing packet/optical transport networks (metro and backbone/core) with computing infrastructure. A key aspect of its success and sustained utilization across multiple public and private research programs has been its continuous growth addressing new technologies and innovations while enabling a research platform on top of which experimental activities can be carried out. In particular, the Packet Optical Networks and Services Research Unit roadmap for 2022-2025, defined by ongoing and future (e.g., in the scope of the EC SNS-JU) projects includes research topics that are not currently considered, or considered to a minor extent.
The main driver for this new space is to expand the current ADRENALINE testbed® to fully address research activities in the field of optical access networks and their applications in support of B5G/6G/IoT/V2X networks and edge services, as well as optical transmission. This includes open passive optical networks (PON) architectures and protocols, and their role in the cloud-edge continuum and multi-access edge computing.
Overall, the targeted new functionalities can be summarized in the following topics:
- Integration of (open, disaggregated, programmable) Passive Optical Networks (PON), enabling an end-to-end control and orchestration system for the overall network infrastructure, better addressing the requirements of B5G/6G and highlighting the role of optical access in support of new services.
- PON data plane testing and validation. PONs are single fiber networks that entail several challenges in terms of physical impairments. So, from the data plane point of view, this is the source of many impairments that should be carefully studied and characterized. This includes the eventual reflections (e.g., due to connectors) and back-scattering phenomena (Rayleigh, Raman, Brillouin, etc.).
- Extended Edge Computing infrastructure, enabled by the optical access connectivity, which includes several racks of extended MEC servers including AI capabilities. This will allow the deployment of novel services for B5G/6G/IoT/V2X that make extensive use of distributed AI resources.
- Disaggregated programmable routing devices. This will allow the deployment of a cloud-edge continuum that includes transport networks. The programmable routing devices might include cell-site gateways and other network equipment that can be controlled through TeraFlow SDN controller.
- Optical connectivity assessment. Connectivity between the two buildings will be deployed (integrating the targeted PON fiber plant to the optical metro infrastructure in B4) to further assess the implemented transceiver architectures within the EOS platform for advanced proof of concept and also will represent an added value for collaboration with other Institutions (e.g., in the framework of EU R&D projects). This can result attractive also envisioning a future deployment of quantum system (e.g., QKD) solutions.