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OSE6474 - Fundamentals of Optical Fiber Communications

Introduces key principles and analysis of optical communication systems. Emphasis on developing the ability to analyze and design digital, analog fiber-based systems and networks.

OSE 6474 – Optical Communication Systems

Course Goals & Objectives

This course will aim at elucidating the key principles underlying the analysis of optical communication systems based on their fiber- and optoelectronic-based components. The emphasis will on engineering aspects and the students should be able to comprehend, analyze and design digital and analog fiber-based systems and networks at the end of the course.

In order to analyze and design fiber-optic systems, it is necessary to study the components that constitute it, the principles that underlie their operation, and their functional characteristics from the perspective of a system design engineer. To this extent, the course will develop tools to understand:

  • Propagation of signals and their impairments in optical fibers
  • Operational characteristics of optical transmitters and receivers
  • Link analysis of digital and analog optical systems
  • Dispersion management techniques


Required Textbook:

Fiber Optic Communication Systems, 3rd Edition, G. P. Agrawal, John Wiley and Sons, 2002.

Recommended Textbooks:

1)      Optical Fiber Communications: Principles and Practice, 3rd Edition, John M. Senior, Prentice Hall, 2009.

2)      An Introduction to Fiber Optics, A. K. Ghatak and K. Thyagarajan, Cambridge University Press, 1998.

3)      Optical Networks, 2nd Edition, R. Ramaswami and K. Sivarajan, Morgan Kaufmann, Elsevier, 2010.


PRE-REQUISITES  Graduate Standing; OSE 6111 , or Consent of Instructor 


  1. Overview of fiber optic communication systems


  1. Propagation of signals in fibers
    1. Multimode fiber: Ray analysis, Graded-Index Fibers, Bandwidth, Modal noise
    2. Single-mode fiber: Pulse propagation, Group velocity dispersion, Polarization-mode dispersion (PMD), Optical dispersion compensation techniques.
    3. Fiber fabrication techniques
    4. Nonlinear effects in fibers
    5. Planar slab waveguides
    6. Waveguide modes, field distribution, and group velocity
    7. Rectangular channel


  1. System performance of telecom lasers
    1. Operation principles, modulation, chirp, linewidth enhancement factor, phase and intensity noise characteristics


  1. Optical receivers
    1. Noise (Shot and thermal sources and PIN vs. APD)
    2. Sensitivity (Bit-error rate, minimum received power, quantum limit of detection)
    3. Sensitivity degradation (extinction ratio, intensity noise, timing jitter)


  1. Optical modulators
    1. Electro-optic modulators
    2. Electro-absorption modulators


  1. Optical amplifiers
    1. Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifiers (EDFA): gain spectrum and bandwidth, gain saturation and amplifier noise
    2. Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers (SOA): basic design and characteristics


  1. Optical communication systems
    1. Loss- and dispersion-limited systems
    2. Power and rise time budgeting
    3. System Architectures (point-to-point, distributed and local area networks)
    4. Long-haul digital link design (sources of power penalty: modal noise, dispersive pulse broadening, mode-partition noise, frequency chirping and reflection feedback)
    5. Analog optical link design and CATV systems
    6. WDM systems


  1. Dispersion management
    1. Precompensation techniques (prechirp, novel coding and nonlinear prechirp)
    2. Postcompensation techniques
    3. Dispersion-compensating fibers
    4. Fiber Bragg gratings


  1. Coherent optical systems
    1. Homodyne and heterodyne detectors
    2. Modulation formats (ASK, PSK and FSK)