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13 October 1995 Fiber optic communications experiments for undergraduates
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The majority of undergraduate courses in electronic and electrical engineering include some element of optoelectronics particularly fiber optics for communications. The majority of tutors prefer to include experimental demonstrations of underlying concepts within the course structure but for fiber optics this is difficult to achieve within a realistic teaching budget. This paper describes our experiences at Strathclyde in providing experimental back-up to such courses through a simple waveguide experiment and an experimental simulation of an optical communication system demonstrating the principal features thereof. The two experiments, which are deigned to be incorporated in the third year of an undergraduate four or five year program, illustrate the concepts of modes, polarization dependence in thin films, the difference between light emitting diode and laser diode, source performance in optical communications and the influence of material and intermode dispersion on system performance. They also examine noise limitation and the potential bit error rate performances which the system offers. They are designed to fit within a realistic budget and are configured as mini projects and occupy a few days of laboratory time.
© (1995) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Brian Culshaw, Walter Johnstone, George Stewart, and Douglas Walsh "Fiber optic communications experiments for undergraduates", Proc. SPIE 2525, 1995 International Conference on Education in Optics, (13 October 1995);


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