Optical Communications (Postgraduate Course)

The aim of the course is to get acquainted with the principles of optical networking. The main learning outcomes of the course are the following:

-To acquaint students with basic concepts of optical communications.

-To offer an in-depth analysis of the parameters of optical fibers.

-To acquaint students with the structural optical elements and the effect of these parameters on telecommunication links.

-To acquaint students with the basic optical network architectures in the backbone and access network.

-To offer a coherent introduction to topics related to FTTH.


Historical development of optical systems, technological milestones, application scenarios, basic optical network architectures. Wavelength multiplexing WDM. Basic parameters of optical signals. Optical fibers as a means of propagation, types of optical cables, linear and non-linear effects in optical fibers. Effect on the rate of information transmission. Building blocks I: Optical filter specifications for WDM applications. Bragg, Fabry Perot, Arrayed Waveguide Gratings AWGs filters, thin film filters.  Building blocks II: Optical amplifiers. Optical amplifier specifications and basic items. The erbium fiber enhancer EDFA. Raman amplifiers. Application scenarios. Key features of optical amplifiers power gain, frequency response, bandwidth, non-linear distortion, stimulated emission noise. Building blocks III: Optical transmitters. Types of optical transmitters. LASER and LED. Categories of laser optical transmitters: multi mode and single mode. Basic optical transmitter technologies: DFB, DBR, VCSELs. Direct and external configuration. Building Blocks IV: Optical receivers. Optical receiver materials and types: PIN and APD. The quantum limit. Noise calculation in optical receivers. The signal-to-noise ratio. Coherent receivers. Modulation schemes. Theory of optical detection. The probability of error and its calculation. Comparison of performance of optical configuration schemes: OOK, QAM, PSK.  Basic optical network architectures. The basic elements of the network: multiplexers, add / drop multiplexers. The concept of lightpath. Switches technologies. The optical layer and its integration with the other layers of the network.Optical networks in data centers. Basic technologies and protocols for connecting servers and other components. Ethernet standards based on optical technologies. Fiber-to-the-Premises FTTX and related architectures. Design, management and evaluation of FTTX networks. LiFi and photon technologies for IoT. Study of optical architectures. Noise calculation and SNR. Performance calculation. Examination of assignments within the course.


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