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ELEC70079 Optical Communication

Lecturer(s): Prof Eric Yeatman


This module aims to provide an understanding of the structure, operating principles and underlying physical concepts of optical communication systems (particularly fibre links), and thus to show what the capabilities and restrictions of such systems are, in both a current technological sense and in terms of fundamental principles.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, you will be able to: - choose the components that make up an optical communication link - evaluate the main choices are for each of the components that make up an optical communication link and the criteria for selection for each of these components - calculate the capacity (length x bandwidth) of a given optical link or system - evaluate the state-of-the-art optical systems, and estimate the likely direction of future developments


Fundamentals of communicating with light; Guided electro-magnetic waves: the slab waveguide, modes, dispersion; Modes and attenuation in fibres; Properties of LEDís and lasers as communication sources; Photodiodes and receiver circuits, sensitivity, noise and bandwidth; Modulation techniques, coherent communication; Time-division and wavelength division multiplexing; Optical amplifiers, non-linear effects; System architectures and applications; Free space systems; Signal processing, routing and timing.
Exam Duration: 3:00hrs
Exam contribution: 100%
Coursework contribution: 0%

Term: Autumn

Closed or Open Book (end of year exam): Closed

Coursework Requirement:

Oral Exam Required (as final assessment): no

Prerequisite module(s): None required

Course Homepage: unavailable

Book List: