Communications is arguably the most widespread application of fibre optics, and naturally forms an essential part of an MSc Programme specialising on fibre technologies. This module will cover topics ranging from the more general (aimed at students with a background that is different to engineering) to more specialised topics relating to modern communication systems. The module starts with an introduction to the history of optical communications and the evolution of optical communication systems. It covers aspects of optical networking, and looks in detail in the modulation and multiplexing techniques used in modern systems. Key optical components for communications are presented and their main characteristics are analysed, allowing the students to appreciate what features can make a difference in the performance. An introduction to wave propagation in optical fibres is presented next, with emphasis on the effects of fibre characteristics on fast data signals. Fibre component and amplification technology are considered in detail. The final part of the module covers topics that are relevant either to modern communication systems or that emerge from recent research in the field. It includes optical nonlinearities and their implications both in transmission and signal processing, as well as electronic signal processing and its ever-increasing role in optical communications.
This module builds directly on the fundamental fibre technology module (OPTO6008) taught in Semester 1; together these modules provide in-depth knowledge of the core concepts of advanced telecommunication systems and the state-of-the-art of telecommunication systems technologies.
This module series could also be of interest to students studying towards an MSc in Wireless Communications.