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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Teaching optical fiber communications and optical data storage techniques using a compact disc player
Author(s): Pierre Mark Lane; Ronnie F. Van Dommelen; Michael Cada

Paper Abstract

The principles of optical fiber communication and optical data storage have evolved over the past decade into industry standards for transmission, distribution, storage, and archival of digital audio, multimedia, and computer data. The fundamentals of these sophisticated systems are traditionally taught in the lecture hall, and laboratory exposure to the hardware is at the device rather than the system level. In our educational approach, after the student has been introduced to the device basics, the compact disc audio player is used as a tool to teach the fundamentals of optical communication and storage. The ubiquitous compact disc audio system, from analog input, through optical storage and distribution, to audio reproduction, provides an excellent model of a complete real world optical transmission and storage system. The laboratory time is divided into three segments: Introduction to Electro- Optic Devices, Optical Storage, and Optical Communication. During the introduction, students learn the basics of emitters, detectors, and optical fiber. The optical data storage and retrieval function of the compact disc player is investigated in the second segment. Students are introduced to optical information storage techniques, information density limits, the optical pick-up, laser diodes, photodiode arrays, eye patterns, and the tracking and focusing sub-systems. In the third segment, the compact disc system is used as a model of an entire optical communication system. Students are introduced to sampling and quantization, channel encoding techniques, modulation, high-speed transmitters and receivers, demodulation, decoding, error correction, digital signal processing, and digital-to-analog conversion.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 December 1997
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3190, Fifth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics, (8 December 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.294409
Show Author Affiliations
Pierre Mark Lane, Dalhousie Univ. (Canada)
Ronnie F. Van Dommelen, Dalhousie Univ. (Canada)
Michael Cada, Dalhousie Univ. (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3190:
Fifth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics
Christiaan H. F. Velzel, Editor(s)

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