Physical Layer Network Management Tools Based on Automated Fiber Optic Patch-Panels
The ability to automate network reconfiguration and testing would have profound economic benefits. The cost to operate today¿s networks exceeds 60% of the carriers¿ revenue and the staffing cost to manage data centers exceeds $200 billion per year. These expenses include the management and administration of millions of fiber connections in central offices, points-of-presence, and data centers. This project will develop physical network reconfiguration tools incorporating an all-fiber automated patch-panel system. The solution will be scalable, modular to >5,000 ports, and low cost, and will exhibit nearly zero insertion loss. Fiber interconnections will be arbitrarily reconfigured in a completely non-blocking fashion using compact robotics. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee The highly manual nature of current network management approaches demands a fleet of some 100,000 service vehicles in the U.S. alone and reduces the profitability, reliability, and agility of high bandwidth communications services. The fiber optic patch-panel system would enable a new class of network management tools to be realized for remote access and sharing of physical network assets across a distributed network.
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