DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU


Module Specifications

Archived Version 2009 - 2010

Module Title Optical Communications System Design
Module Code EE454
School School of Electronic Engineering

Online Module Resources

Module Co-ordinatorProf Liam BarryOffice NumberS333
Module Co-ordinatorProfessor Liam BarryOffice NumberS333
Level 4 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Module Aims
To introduce the student to the main components of an optical communications system and to describe typical communication systems which employ optical techniques.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to… Identify the main parameters of laser diodes, optical fibre, and optical receivers that effect the performance of optical communications systems 1. Analyse the equations that explain the modulation of an optical carrier with electrical data signals and apply these equations to determine the maximum modulation rate that can be attained 2. Derive solutions for how non-linearity and dispersion affect the propagation of data signals in optical fibre, and apply these solutions to analyse the maximum data rate and transmission distance of optical transmission links 3. Determine the various parameters of an optical receiver that affect Bit-Error-Rate and eye diagrams, and identify how an eye-diagram may be used in quantifying system performance 4. Identify the different type of networking configurations that may be used in an optical network and analyse how component selection effects network design 5. Design a basic optical communication systems and analyse how it performance would be effected by the various components used in the system design 6. Implement a wavelength division multiplexed systems and formulate how altering the parameters of the components used would change system capacity 7. Operate all the main components required to develop a basic optical communication systems, and conduct experiments to develop and analyse an optical transmission system

Indicative Time Allowances
Independent Learning Time 112.5

Total 112.5
Assume that a 7.5 credit module load represents approximately 112.5 hours' work, which includes all teaching, in-course assignments, laboratory work or other specialised training and an estimated private learning time associated with the module.

Indicative Syllabus
Optical Communications System Design Properties of Optical Fibres: fibre types; step-index and graded-index; monomode and multimode;. Lasers and Modulation Techniques: the laser diode; power spectrum; single-mode lasers; direct modulation; intensity modulation; frequency modulation; linearity; pulse modulation; coding an optical carrier. Signal Degradation and Coupling Efficiency: absorption; scattering; radiative losses; core and cladding losses; material dispersion; waveguide dispersion; intermodal dispersion; nonlinear effects; mode coupling; source-to-fibre power launching. Demodulation: photodiodes; construction; temperature effects; response time; direct detection; signal-to-noise ratio with direct detection of intensity modulated waves. Multiplexing: time-division multiplexing; limitations of TDM; wavelength division multiplexing; WDM using optical filters; cross-talk; radio-frequency subcarrier multiplexing. Fibre-Optic Networks: WDM networking, structure. Evolution to All-Optical Networks.
Continuous Assessment20% Examination Weight80%
Indicative Reading List
Programme or List of Programmes
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
ECSAOStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
EEBEng in Electronic Engineering
GCTCGrad Cert. in Telecommunications Eng.
GTCGrad Dip in Telecommunications Eng
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
ICEBEng Info and Communications Engineering
IPMEIndividual Postgrad. Modules-Electronics
MENMEng in Electronic Systems
MEQMasters Engineering Qualifier Course
MTCMEng in Telecommunications Engineering
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)