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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Integrating fiber optics into electronic communications curriculum
Author(s): Shuping Wang

Paper Abstract

Traditional electronic communications curriculum spends large amount of time to cover the electronic circuits for communications. Since highly integrated circuits for communications are now available, in many cases a blockdiagram level analysis is sufficient. On the other hand, fiber optics for communications has been used not only for long haul transmission of information, but also local area networks and computer networks. To stay relevant and keep up with industry trends without adding new courses, we revised existing two-semester electronic communications curriculum by replacing some circuit details with topics on optical fiber communications fundamentals and wavelength division multiplexing techniques. Since optical fiber communications itself can be a course of one or two semesters, we are not intending to cover the topic in all aspects. Instead, our goal is to introduce the highlights of the major topics necessary for students to understand basics of optical fiber communications. To make the topic transition logically we introduced the light source in fiber optics topic, after establishing the modulation/demodulation concept, as an alternative carrier signal for modulation process. We then introduced optical fibers as transmission channel for modulated optical carriers, followed by other components (optical sources, detectors, and etc.). Wavelength division multiplexing had also been introduced as one of the major multiplexing techniques, after introducing the time division multiplexing and frequency division multiplexing concepts, for both long haul and high speed Ethernet applications. Through the midterm/final examinations students demonstrated similar level of understanding of the traditional materials as before. At the same time their basic knowledge on optical fiber communications were established.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 2019
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 11143, Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019, 111430P (2 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2520771
Show Author Affiliations
Shuping Wang, Univ. of North Texas (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11143:
Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019
Anne-Sophie Poulin-Girard; Joseph A. Shaw, Editor(s)

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