Optical Networks

Course Description

The course covers in detail different types of optical networks, from access and distribution networks to WDM systems and long-haul links. Restrictions of particular optical systems are explained. An overview of components applicable to different kinds of optical networks is given. The design of an optical link and an optical network is also dealt with.

General Competencies

The emphasis of the course lies on understanding advantages and drawbacks of different kinds of optical communication networks. Students will be able to apply this knowledge to better understand architectures, protection and management of optical networks. Furthermore, they will be capable of designing high-speed optical links and communication systems and choosing the most convenient configuration for specific practical problems.

Learning Outcomes

  1. select components for building optical communication networks
  2. design optical fiber networks by taking into account numerous effects (dispersion, non-linearities, noise, optical amplifiers).
  3. design optical networks by taking into account network topology, protection capacity, routing and wavelength assignment
  4. identify the practical problems in realization of fiber links
  5. design access network with high capacity and flexibility
  6. summarize tendencies in optical networks development

Forms of Teaching


Lectrures are given with the use of powerpoint presentations published on the web pages.

Laboratory Work

Two laboratory exercises take place as a part of the course: characterization of WDM-PON system and nonlinear fiber effects.

Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Laboratory Exercises 0 % 10 % 0 % 10 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 0 % 25 % 0 %
Final Exam: Written 0 % 25 %
Final Exam: Oral 40 %
Exam: Written 0 % 45 %
Exam: Oral 45 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. New tendencies in optical networks development: demands on WDM systems with a large number of wavelengths, on metro WDM optical networks, on long-haul optical links and on high-speed optical links.
  2. High-speed optical links: RZ pulse optical sources, external modulators, chromatic and polarization dispersion compensation
  3. Long-term development of optical networks, all-optical networks, architecture of all-optical networks, components for all-optical networks.
  4. Protection in optical networks, protection in SDH/SONET rings, protection in WDM rings, protection in networks with mesh topology.
  5. Routing algorithms. Shortest path algorithms. Planing of protection capacity. Example: Dijkstra's shortest path algorithm.
  6. Wavelength assignment problem (WDM optical networks). Graph coloring algorithm.
  7. Free-space optical communications, norms and applications, influence of atmosphere on the quality of a free-space optical link.
  8. Mid-term exam
  9. LAN network structures.
  10. Access and distribution optical networks; passive optical networks; TDM-PON and WDM-PON.
  11. Design of optical communication networks - power penalty method.
  12. Optical amplifiers, amplifier cascades, noise caused by optical amplifiers.
  13. Non-linear effects in fibers, reducing the penalty due to fiber non-linearity.
  14. Practical problems in design and realization of communication networks
  15. Laboratory - testing and configuration of a passive optical network with wavelength division multiplexing (WDM-PON)

Study Programmes

University graduate
[FER2-HR] Wireless Technologies - profile
Specialization Course (1. semester) (3. semester)


R. Ramaswami, K.N. Sivarajan (2010.), Optical Networks – A Practical Perspective, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc.
J.M. Simmons (2008.), Optical Network Design and Planning, Springer
G.P. Agrawal (2005.), Lightwave Technology: Telecommunication Systems, John Wiley
B. Chomycz (2009.), Planning Fiber Optic Networks, McGraw Hill

Laboratory exercises

For students


ID 86491
  Winter semester
L1 English Level
L1 e-Learning
28 Lectures
0 Seminar
0 Exercises
4 Laboratory exercises
0 Project laboratory

Grading System

89 Excellent
76 Very Good
63 Good
50 Acceptable