Optical Networks (ELEC5512)


This unit builds upon the fundamentals of optical communication introduced in ELEC3405 (Communications Electronics and Photonics). It focuses on photonic network architectures and protocols, network design, enabling technologies and the drivers for intelligent optical network.
Students will learn how to analyse and design optical networks and optical components.
Introduction, photonic network architectures: point to point, star, ring, mesh; system principles: modulation formats, link budgets, optical signal to noise ratio, dispersion, error rates, optical gain and regeneration; wavelength division multiplexed networks; WDM components: optical filters, gratings, multiplexers, demultiplexers, wavelength routers, optical crossconnects, wavelength converters, WDM transmitters and receivers; Wavelength switched/routed networks, ultra high speed TDM, dispersion managed links, soliton systems; broadcast and distribution networks, multiple access, subcarrier multiplexed lightwave video networks, optical local area and metropolitan area networks; protocols for photonic networks: IP, Gbit Ethernet, SDH/SONET, FDDI, ATM, Fibre Channel.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lectures, Tutorials


Through semester assessment (30%) and Final Exam (70%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Assumed knowledge

Knowledge of digital communications, wave propagation, and fundamental optics

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.