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The paper describes the study of the multichannel upgrade of IEEE Standard 802.17 Resilient Packet Ring (RPR) in particular and optical single-channel ring networks in general by making use of wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM). The paper describes and discusses a novel evolutionary multichannel upgrade approach that uses WDM on a central passive arrayed-waveguide grating (AWG)-based single-hop star network rather than on the ring. The AWG-based star subnetwork allows for a dramatically larger spatial reuse of WDM wavelength channels than conventional upgrades of optical single-channel ring networks that use WDM on the ring where all nodes need to be WDM upgraded. In the resultant hybrid optical ring-star network, termed RINGOSTAR, only a subset of the nodes are required to be WDM upgraded with a single additional tunable transceiver in order to improve the performance dramatically. The novel concept of proxy stripping is also introduced, which is used to route ring traffic on single-hop short cuts across the star subnetwork rather than the peripheral ring, resulting in a dramatically increased spatial reuse factor on the ring. By means of analysis, the performance of RINGOSTAR is investigated in terms of mean hop distance, spatial reuse, and capacity. The findings show that RINGOSTAR significantly outperforms unidirectional, bidirectional, and meshed WDM rings. Finally, the tradeoffs of RINGOSTAR are addressed.