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This paper presents a novel hierarchical and grid based reconfigurable optical-wireless network (GROW-Net) architecture. GROW-Net supports scalable and flexible integration of a large scale wireless mesh network in a municipal environment. Under the GROW-Net architecture, a joint evolution strategy is proposed to allow graceful upgrades in both optical backbone and wireless mesh network. To alleviate the known throughput bottleneck in mesh networks, a capacity enhancing technique based on flexible cell-splitting is proposed. The technique allocates wavelength resources to unutilized dark fibers using the unique structure of GROW-Net's reconfigurable and colorless access gateways. To analyze the effectiveness of the approach, throughput performance of the wireless mesh network is analyzed using a high fidelity simulator. The wireless mesh network in the simulation employs a distributed and cooperative medium access control protocol within a time division multiple access and time division duplex framework. Through the high fidelity simulation, results show the degree of throughput enhancement by using cell splitting method. The evolution strategy further enables the backbone to scale its bandwidth and adapt to future high throughput and very high throughput wireless technologies. The performance of the proposed backbone is demonstrated experimentally over the optical testbed.
Date of Conference: Nov. 30 2009-Dec. 4 2009