Optical Communication Systems (ELEC5511)


This course will provide an understanding of the fundamental principles of optical fibre communication systems. It commences with a description of optical fibre propagation characteristics and transmission properties. We will then consider light sources and the fundamental principles of laser action in semiconductor and other lasers, and also the characteristics of optical transmitters based on semiconductor and electro-optic modulation techniques. The characteristics of optical amplifiers will also be discussed. On the receiver side, the principles of photodetection and optical receiver sensitivity will be discussed. Other aspects such as fibre devices and multiple wavelength division multiplexing techniques will also be discussed. Finally, the complete optical fibre communication system will be studied to enable the design of data transmission optical systems, local area networks and multi-channel optical systems.

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Further unit of study information


Lectures, Tutorials


Through semester assessment (25%) and Final Exam (75%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Assumed knowledge

(ELEC3405 OR ELEC9405) AND (ELEC3505 OR ELEC9505). Basic knowledge of communications, electronics and photonics

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Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.