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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.

This course is archived
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.
During the proctored exams, this course will follow the Purdue University ECE policy, the calculator must be a Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS scientific calculator. ONLY the Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS scientific calculator will be allowed.

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 Nano-Science and Technology. For further information and other courses offered and planned, please see the Nano-Science and Technology page. Courses like this can also apply toward a Purdue University MSECE degree for students accepted into the full master’s program.

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

  • Fiber Optic Systems
  • Optical Transmitters

Week 2: Optical Transmitters

  • Lasers
  • Semiconductor Lasers

Week 3: Fundamental Concepts in Optical Communications

  • Optical Telecommunications System Limitations
  • Optical Amplifiers

Week 4: Current Optical Communication Network Architecture

  • Wavelength Division Multiplexing
  • Modulation Formats

Week 5: Future Optical Networks

  • Networking Growth
  • On-Chip Interconnects
  • Quantum Cryptography
  • Quantum Networks

About the instructors

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from 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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