Optical network systems

What is a Certified Optical Network Associate?

What is CONA?

CONA certified optical network associate logo The Certified Optical Network Associate is the entry level certification in Optical Networking. The five-day programme provides a sound foundation of knowledge about fibre optic infrastructure and transmission technology and how the power of light can be harnessed to provide high capacity, cost effective communications links including DWDM and CWDM multi-channel direct detection systems for data rates up to 10Gb/s and some 100Gb/s systems configured as 4x25Gb/s WDM.

Singlemode fibre types You'll learn about the range of singlemode fibre types available including G.652 types such as Corning SMF28e, G.655 fibres including OFS TrueWave, Corning Leaf, G.656 fibres including Prysmian Teralight and the role of G.654 and G.657 fibre types. For client interfaces, you'll also learn about multimode options including OM3, OM4 and OM5 WBMMF (Wideband multimode fibre).

You'll also learn about the real world of infrastructure issues, fibre optic cables, how they are joined, terminated, tested and presented at customer premises and equipment locations. All of this is critical knowledge for any fibre optic project, whether it is for Data Centre Interconnect (DCI), Fibre to the Antenna (FTTA), Metro Networks, Transport, Utility and Pipeline networks.

As well as the passive infrastructure you'll learn about the active transceivers that are used to generate and detect optical signals, the capabilities of SFP, XFP, SFP+, QSFP pluggable optics modules.

WhizzieKit SFP plus example On the systems side of things, you'll learn about the building blocks that are needed within optical networking elements such as transponders, muxponders, optical multiplexers and demultiplexers for CWDM and DWDM and adding optical supervisory circuits and test wavelengths.

You'll learn about the different types of fibre amplifiers for DWDM systems, EDFAs for booster, line and pre-amplification as well as the role of Raman amplifiers. System engineering considerations are covered including power level calculations, loss budgets and optical power budgets. You'll get a good understanding of chromatic dispersion and the role of optical dispersion management, using fibre based and Bragg grating based DCMs (Dispersion Compensating Modules); as well as the perils of PMD (Polarisation Mode Dispersion).

CONA delegates using the WhizzieKit Virtual system You'll gain an appreciation of how the quality of a transmission system can be quantified using Bit Error Ratio (BER) testers, OSNR measurement with an OSA and other monitoring systems that can be used on live networks.

A key part of the CONA course is the assignment where you design the optical networking system to link together two data centres using OTT's specially designed Virtual Optical Networking System, WhizzieKit. This puts together all you have learned, consolidates your skills and acts as an assessment as a basis for certification along with the written exam.