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Fiber Optic Communications

Learn about the fundamentals of fiber optic communications, with emphasis on the historical background, current practice, and future directions.

There is one session available:

After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts Mar 28, 2022
Ends May 2, 2022
Estimated 5 weeks
7–9 hours per week
Instructor-paced
Instructor-led on a course schedule
Free
Optional upgrade available

About this course

Skip About this course

This course will aim to introduce students to the fundamentals of fiber optic communications, which constitute the backbone of the internet. The course will start with a refresher on the operation of key components needed for an effective fiber optic communication system, and then show how these components interact at a system level. Finally, the course will conclude with outlook for future research in extending the capabilities of these networks to higher bandwidths and quantum-secured communications.

Students taking this course will be required to complete four (4) proctored exams using the edX online Proctortrack software.

Completed exams will be scanned and sent using Gradescope for grading by Professor Bermel.
Fiber Optic Communications is one course in a growing suite of unique, 1-credit-hour short courses being developed in an edX/Purdue University collaboration. Students may elect to pursue a verified certificate for this specific course alone or as one of the six courses needed for the edX/Purdue MicroMasters program in Nanoscience and Technology. For further information and other courses offered and planned, please see the Nanoscience and Technology page.

Courses like this can also apply toward a Master's Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering for students accepted into the full master’s program at Purdue University.

At a glance

  • Institution: PurdueX
  • Subject: Engineering
  • Level: Advanced
  • Prerequisites:

    Fundamentals of electric & magnetic fields, including EM waves.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • wave propagation, dispersion, and loss
  • optical transmitters and receivers: materials, sources, modulation, speed limitations
  • fundamental concepts in optical communication networks: power, noise, and speed
  • current optical communication network architectures: TDM, DWDM, QPSK, QAM
  • future optical networks: fiber-to-the-home, data centers, quantum key distribution

Week 1: Optical Fibers

  • Overview and Introduction
    • Multi-Mode/Single-Mode Fibers
    • Graded Index (GRIN) and Step Index Fibers
  • Fiber Equations and Networking
    • Fiber Modes
    • System Components
    • Modulation
    • Multiplexing
  • Optical Transmitters
    • Einstein Coefficients
    • Semiconductor Photonics
    • Light Emitting Diodes

Week 2: Optical Transmitters and Receivers

  • Lasers
    • Laser Principles
    • Laser Transitions
    • General Rate Equations
  • Semiconductor Lasers
    • Amplification
    • Lasing Conditions
    • Quantum Confinement
    • Functionality

Week 3: Fundamental Concepts in Optical Communications

  • Optical Telecommunications System Limitations
    • Links
    • System Limitations
  • Optical Amplifiers
    • Principles
    • Hardware

Week 4: Current Optical Communication Network Architecture

  • Wavelength Division Multiplexing
    • WDM Principles
    • WDM Hardware
    • Hybrid Packet/Optical Networks
  • Modulation Formats
    • CDM, TDM
    • ASK, PSK, and FSK

Week 5: Future Optical Networks

  • Networking Growth
    • Upgrading Existing Network Hardware
    • Improved Communications Protocols
    • Novel Network Concepts
  • On-Chip Interconnects
    • Guided-Wave Interconnects
    • Photonic Crystals
    • Photonic Waveguides
    • Photonic Slabs
  • Quantum Cryptography
    • Classical Cryptography
    • Quantum Key Distributions
  • Quantum Networks
    • Quantum Networking Fundamentals
    • Quantum Repeaters
    • Quantum Teleportation
    • Quantum Computation

About the instructors

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

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