Future expansion of the test network to UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced is included in the proposed Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS). Funding for CITRIS was included by Gov. Gray Davis in the proposed state budget for 2001-2002.
More information: http://sierra.ece.ucdavis.edu.
BUILDING BETTER OPTICAL NETWORKS
The best way to build optical communication networks is the object of research by computer scientist Biswanath Mukherjee and electronic engineer Jonathan Heritage of the University of California, Davis.
"We can create gadgets, but this is useless without understanding network architecture," said Mukherjee.
Networks require repeaters and cross-connects that allow long-distance signals to pass through a junction point, while local traffic splits off. Mukherjee and Heritage use a computer modeling approach to work out how cross-connects should be positioned.
"The question is, when should we stay in the optical domain and when should we go back to electronics to repair the signal?" said Heritage.
To multiply the number of signals carried by a single fiber, engineers use wavelength division multiplexing (WDM). Each signal is allocated a slightly different wavelength of light. The UC Davis researchers are studying how best to assign wavelengths to signals, how to handle multiple wavelengths, and the best way to route the WDM signals across networks.