ECE Course Outline


Optical Fiber Communications (3-3-4)

ECE 3025 [min C]
Catalog Description
Combined lecture-laboratory exploration of the technology of fiber optics, with emphasis on optical fiber communication systems.
Kumar & Deen, Fiber Optic Communications: Fundamentals and Applications (1st edition), 2014. (required)

Course Objectives - As part of this course, students:

  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]
Course Outcomes - Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  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. understand and measure properties of optical sources, detectors, and receivers.
  4. understand and measure fundamental system impairments and know the methods by which these are mitigated.
  5. operate instrumentation for measuring fiber and optical system properties.
  6. understand and measure noise and its effects on system performance.
  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.
Topical Outline
Overview of Optical Communications 

Dielectric Waveguide Fundamentals
    Symmetric Slab Waveguides
    Optical Fiber Waveguides
        Wave equation solutions
        Single-mode and multimode fiber
        Alternative refractive index profiles
    Gaussian beam measurements and fiber coupling (laboratory)

Signal Degradation in Fiber 
    Fiber manufacture
        Intrinsic loss mechanisms
        Coupling loss
        Bending loss
    Loss measurements (laboratory)
        Group velocity dispersion
        Dispersion management
        Polarization dispersion 
    Dispersion measurement (laboratory)

Optical Sources
    Basic light emission mechanisms in semiconductors 
    Light-emitting diodes
    Semiconductor lasers
    Optical emitter characterization (laboratory)

    Basic light absorption concepts in semiconductors 
    Photodiode detectors
    Receiver components
    Bit error rate and receiver sensitivity 
    Detectors and noise studies (laboratory)

System Fundamentals
    Point-to-point link power budgets 
    BER measurements
    Eye diagrams
    Loss and dispersion limits 
    Network architectures
    Design guidelines
    Link characterization (laboratory)

Advanced Topics
    Optical amplifiers 
    Nonlinear effects 
    Soliton propagation 
    Coherent detection
    Amplifier characterization (laboratory)