Optical Fiber Communications


CMPE Degree: This course is Elective for the CMPE degree.

EE Degree: This course is Selected Elective for the EE degree.

Lab Hours: 3 supervised lab hours and 0 unsupervised lab hours.

Technical Interest Group(s) / Course Type(s): Optics and Photonics

Course Coordinator: Stephen E Ralph

Prerequisites: ECE 3025 [min C]

Corequisites: None.

Catalog Description

Combined lecture-laboratory exploration of the technology of fiber optics, with emphasis on optical fiber communication systems.

Course Outcomes

  1. Be conversant on optical waveguide components, including single and multimode fiber, fiber couplers, connectors, and fiber amplifiers.
  2. Demonstrate basic fiber handling skills, including cleaving and splicing.
  3. Identify and measure fundamental system impairments and know the mitigation methods.
  4. Operate instrumentation for measuring fiber and optical system properties,.
  5. Measure noise and its effects on system performance.
  6. Describe signal processing methods and their impact on fiber communication links.
  7. Design, construct, and test a basic fiber communication link.
  8. Demonstrate sophistication in experimental data processing, interpretation, and presentation.
  9. Write a good technical report.
  10. Give a clear and informative team presentation.

Student Outcomes

In the parentheses for each Student Outcome:
"P" for primary indicates the outcome is a major focus of the entire course.
“M” for moderate indicates the outcome is the focus of at least one component of the course, but not majority of course material.
“LN” for “little to none” indicates that the course does not contribute significantly to this outcome.

1. ( P ) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics

2. ( LN ) An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors

3. ( LN ) An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences

4. ( LN ) An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts

5. ( P ) An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives

6. ( P ) An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions

7. ( M ) An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Strategic Performance Indicators (SPIs)

Not Applicable

Course Objectives

  1. design and operate basic optical fiber systems [a,c,e,k].
  2. understand the essential system impairments and methods used in their mitigation [a,b,k].
  3. understand and measure fiber data link parameters, including loss, dispersion, and bit error rate [a,b,k]
  4. learn and perform standard experimental methods in fiber optics, including fiber handling, apparatus setup, safety, and stability [b,e,k]
  5. learn and improve data processing skills, including curve fitting, error analysis, accuracy, and assessment of reasonableness [a,b,e,k]
  6. present results as teams in written reports and in oral presentations [d,g]

Topical Outline

Laboratory I: Fiber loss and dispersion measurements
Laboratory II: Receivers and eye diagrams
Laboratory III: Basic OOK optical links
Laboratory IV: Advanced optical links, noise and impairment assessment
Laboratory V: Final Project

1) Optical Fiber Transmission
Basic elements of optical fiber links, Fiber structure and the ray picture, Multi-mode fibers, Modes of a step-index optical fiber, Fiber loss, Fiber dispersion, Pulse propagation in single-mode fibers, Types of single mode fiber, Fiber manufacturing, Fiber connectors, Basic measurement techniques for optical fiber links.
2) Lasers
Basic concepts and conditions for laser oscillations, Semiconductor lasers, Tunable semiconductor lasers, Laser noise, Spot Size and Gaussian beams
3) Optical Modulators and Modulation Schemes
Signaling basics, Digital modulation schemes, Optical modulator types, Mach-Zehnder modulators, Quadrature amplitude modulation
4) Optical Receivers
Photodetector types and performance characteristics, PiN photodiodes, Direct detection receivers, Coherent receivers, Advanced measurement techniques for optical fiber links
5) Optical Amplifiers
Optical amplifier architectures, Semiconductor optical amplifiers, Erbium-doped fiber amplifier, Raman amplifiers, Noise figure, OSNR and system impact of ASE
6) Transmission Systems and Performance Analysis
Eye diagrams and bit error rates, Direct detection links, DWDM systems, Dispersion management, Multi-span systems and cascaded amplifiers
7) Nonlinear Effects in Fibers
Origin of linear and nonlinear refractive indices, Nonlinear Schrödinger Equation, Self-phase modulation, Inter and intra channel nonlinear effects
8) Digital Signal Processing
IF estimation and compensation, Phase estimation and compensation, CD equalization, Adaptive equalizers, Polarization Demux and PMD equalization