This course will aim to introduce students to the fundamentals of fiber optic communications, which constitute the backbone of the internet. The course will start with a refresher on the operation of key components needed for an effective fiber optic communication system, and then show how these components interact at a system level. Finally, the course will conclude with outlook for future research in extending the capabilities of these networks to higher bandwidths and quantum-secured communications.
Students taking this course will be required to complete four (4) proctored exams using the edX online Proctortrack software.
Completed exams will be scanned and sent using Gradescope for grading by Professor Bermel.
Fiber Optic Communications is one course in a growing suite of unique, 1-credit-hour short courses being developed in an edX/Purdue University collaboration. Students may elect to pursue a verified certificate for this specific course alone or as one of the six courses needed for the edX/Purdue MicroMasters program in Nanoscience and Technology. For further information and other courses offered and planned, please see the Nanoscience and Technology page.
Courses like this can also apply toward a Master's Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering for students accepted into the full master’s program at Purdue University.
Week 1: Optical Fibers
Overview and Introduction
Graded Index (GRIN) and Step Index Fibers
Fiber Equations and Networking
Light Emitting Diodes
Week 2: Optical Transmitters and Receivers
General Rate Equations
Week 3: Fundamental Concepts in Optical Communications
Optical Telecommunications System Limitations
Week 4: Current Optical Communication Network Architecture