Brazilian Researchers and Company Develop Optical Network Planning Tool

By Joaquim F. Martins Filho - IEEE Northeast Brazil Section Chair, Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil

Researchers from the Optical Networks Group of the Department of Electronics and Systems at UFPE (Federal University of Pernambuco) in Recife, Brazil, started in August 2020 the execution of a new phase of an innovation project on the development of a computational tool for optical fiber communication networks planning. The initiative, coordinated by Professor Joaquim F. Martins Filho, from UFPE, is a partnership with Padtec, a leading manufacturer of optical transport systems, and includes the participation of teaching researchers from the Department of Electronics and Systems (DES), doctoral and master students in Electrical Engineering (PPGEE) at UFPE, undergraduate students and collaborating researchers from the University of Pernambuco (UPE) and Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (UFRPE), both in Recife, Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL) in Maceio, and from the Instituto Atlantico, in Fortaleza, all within the IEEE Northeast Brazil Section.

In the initiative, software and methodology will be developed to facilitate the design of fiber optic communication networks that serve as infrastructure for the Internet, improving performance and reducing network deployment costs. “It will have an impact on the development in Brazil of innovative technology for a Brazilian company that operates globally, which will represent a competitive differential for the company in relation to foreign competitors and in the generation of jobs and highly specialized human resources in the country,” stated the professor.

For Roberto Nakamura, Padtec’s CTO, the use of a planning tool brings numerous benefits to the company by enabling the development of even more efficient and competitive network projects. “This initiative reinforces Padtec’s role as a national high-tech company which invests in Brazilian research and development and contributes to the formation of an ecosystem in the area of optical systems in Brazilian universities,’ said the executive.

Headquartered in Campinas, in São Paulo state, Padtec is a manufacturer of equipment for systems and high-capacity communication networks using optical fibers, and the project aims to implement algorithms in software for network optimization, to meet a certain level of network performance at the lowest possible cost. “This collaboration with Padtec has already been taking place at UFPE for years and this project is the sixth phase. Now we are going to implement new algorithms to include computational intelligence techniques and new functionalities to the tool under development, and validate them in optical fiber test systems in the company,” said the project coordinator from the UFPE side.