172 Fiber Optic Systems

Applications  This course covers a broad range of fiber optic applications such as telecommunications, automotive, space and military telecommunication systems. Fiber optics systems were used aboard the space shuttle Endeavor during its February 2000 mission. The Calibration Optical Loop (COL) utilized fiber optics to transmit signals from the shuttle bay to the remote antenna. The system was designed for stable operation despite outside temperatures variations due to the earth's shadow effect on the Shuttle. The temperature changes would have affected the resistance of a conventional electrical cabling system resulting in more complicated systems.

For Whom Intended  This course provides an excellent foundation in optics and the use of fiber optic cabling for business managers, division chiefs and QA/QC personnel as well as technical personnel involved in design, manufacturing and testing of fiber optic cables and laser applications. It is especially useful for engineers involved in telecommunications design as well as those designing and testing fiber optics replacement systems for traditional wiring, especially on-board systems such as aircraft, military vehicles, space and naval vessels and automotive platforms.

Brief Course Description  This course provides knowledge which will enable evaluation of system upgrades with improved data transfer to overcome present day problems. This course provides an understanding of the theory of optics and its application in the transmission of data along fiber optic cabling. Most courses on fiber optics concentrate on the most common use of fiber optics, in the transmission of telecommunication signals.

The advantages of using fiber optics are discussed such as: a large amount of data (wide bandwidth) can be transmitted over a single piece of fiber at high speeds. Optical transmission is also less susceptible to electromagnetic interference (EMI), reducing problems due to noise and increasing the security of data transmission.

Disadvantages of fiber optics and measures needed to overcome them are discussed, such as selecting good quality connectors and preparing procedures and training for fiber optic system assemblers.

The course covers each item in the fiber optic system, such as types of fiber, light source, transmitters, receivers, repeaters, amplifiers, together with test and measurement techniques. Fiber optic sensors and other applications, both military and commercial, are discussed.

Diploma Programs  This course is a recommended optional course for TTi’s Electronic Telecommunications Specialist Diploma Program and may be used as an optional course for any other TTi Diploma Program.

Related Courses Course 138 (formerly course 174), Fiber Optics and Optical Calibrations, covers related material but adds calibration of fiber optic systems.

Prerequisites  There are no definite prerequisites for this course. However, this course is aimed toward individuals involved in a related technical field.

Text  Each student will receive 180 days access to the on-line electronic course workbook. Renewals and printed textbooks are available for an additional fee.

Course Hours, Certificate and CEUs  Class hours/days for on-site courses can vary from 14-35 hours over 2-5 days as requested by our clients. Upon successful course completion, each participant receives a certificate of completion and one Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for every ten class hours.

Click for a printable course outline (pdf).

Course Outline

Chapter 1 - Introduction and Review

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Chapter 2 - Review of Basic Telecommunications Theory

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  • Introduction
  • Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS)
    • Telephones
    • Telephone Numbers
    • Central Office (CO)
    • Enhanced Telephone Services
  • Telecommunication Protocols
  • Standards
    • ITU-T Study Groups
    • ITU-T  Study Group 15 
    • MIL-STD-188
    • Federal Standard 1037C
  • Telecommunications Network
  • Open Systems Interconnection Reference Model (OSI Model)
    • “End-to-end” Layers 
    • Application Layer 
    • Presentation Layer
    • Session Layer
    • Transport Layer
    • Switched Network
      • Switched Network Standards
    • “Chained” Layers
    • Switching Networks
    • Routing Protocols, Dynamic
    • Routing Protocols, Summary
    • Congestion Control
    • Packet
    • Data Link Layer
    • Frames
    • Physical Layer
    • OSI Model Summary
  • Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

Chapter 3 - Introduction to Light Properties

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  • Light
    • Wave Theory
    • Particle Theory
  • Light Phenomena
  • Light Properties – Wavelength
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum
  • LW Transmission Bands
  • Light Energy
  • Coherence
  • Interference
  • Unwanted Transmission Reflections
  • Polarization of a Light Beam
  • Spectrum 
  • Poincaré Sphere
  • Logarithmic Scale

Chapter 4 - Optical Fibers

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  • Disadvantages of Using Copper Cable
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Fiber-Optic Cables
  • Glass Optical Fiber
  • Typical Glass Optical Fiber
  • Plastic Optical Fiber (POF)
  • Propagation of Light Waves
  • Refractive Index (n)
  • Speed of Light
  • Optical Dielectric Wave Guide
  • Critical Angle (θc)
  • Snell’s Law
  • Numerical Aperture (NA) Number
  • Optical Fiber Modes
  • Single and Multimode Optical Fiber 
  • Multi-Mode (multi rays)
  • Refractive Index for Various Modes Types
  • Common Fiber Mode Types and Properties
  • High and Low Order Transmission Modes
  • Modal Dispersion
  • Material Dispersion
  • Chromatic Dispersion
  • Optical Fiber Signal Attenuation
  • Typical Attenuation/Wavelength for Silica Fiber
  • Attenuation Coefficient (α)
  • Fraction of Power (T) Transmitted through Fiber 
  • Bending Loss
  • Optical Fiber Cut-off Wavelength (λcut-off )

Chapter 5 - Light Sources

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  • Light
  • Spectrum
  • Other Light Sources
  • Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (Laser)
  • Laser Pump
  • Normal Mode Laser
  • Flashlamp Pump
  • Comparison between Normal and Laser Light
  • Laser Design Parameters
  • Laser Spatial Properties
  • Low-SSE  Tunable Laser Cavity
  • Resonators and Oscillators
  • Laser Beam
  • Laser Safety Standards
  • Laser Power Classification
    • Laser Power Limits Of Class I (for test equipment applications)
    • Laser Output Power
    • Increase Laser Output Power
  • The Dye Laser
  • Q-Switched Laser
    • Polarized Light Q-Switch
  • Light-Emitting Diode (LED)
  • Fabry-Perot (FP) Laser
  • Distributed Feedback (DFB) Laser
  • Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSEL)
  • External Cavity Laser (ECL)
  • Optical Power vs. Optical Energy
  • Energy Loss Heats Laser Components
  • Laser Efficiency
  • Laser Elements—Lifetime Reliability
  • Eye Safety and High Voltage Supply
  • Chirp
  • Lasers and Hobbyists 

Chapter 6 - Application of Optics to Telecommunications Systems

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  • Fiber Cable System vs. Copper Wire System
  • Fiber Optic Telecommunication Systems
    • Basic Fiber Optic Telecommunications Link
    • Typical Long Fiber Optic Link
    • Typical Regenerator Unit
    • Regenerators
    • Optical Amplifiers (OAs)
  • Data Communication Trends
  • Telecommunications Network Standards
    • Plesiochronous Digital Hierarchy (PDH)
    • Synchronous Optical Network (SONET)
    • Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH)
    • Data Communications Network Standards
  • Typical Ring Structures
  • Dense Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (DWDM)
  • Frequency Grid from G.692
  • Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
  • Common Transmission Speeds
  • Digital Modulation
  • Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)
  • DWDM Frequencies
  • Optical Data Transmission
  • Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR)
  • Monitoring and Restoring Optical Networks

Chapter 7 - Fiber Optical Cabling

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  • Cable Designs
  • Fiber Optic Splices
    • Physical Medium
    • Fiber Core Misalignment
    • Fiber Optic Connectors
    • Connector Inspection—Safety Concerns
    • Connector Care
    • Optical Connector Cleaning
    • Termination Kit
    • Fiber Optic Connector Inspector Tool
  • Types of Fiber Optic Cable Terminations
    • Single Mode fiber Optic Patch Cords
    • Multi Mode Fiber Optic Patch Cords 
    • Breakout and Drop Fiber Optic Cables
  • Automated Manufacture—Fiber Cable Assemblies

Chapter 8 - Erbium Doped Fiber Optical Amplifiers (EDFA)

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  • The Erbium Element
    • Erbium Properties
  • EDF Amplifiers
  • Basic EDF Amplifier Design
  • Amplified Spontaneous Emission (ASE)
  • Output Spectra
  • Time-Domain Properties
    • Optical Gain (G)
    • Noise Figure (NF)
  • EDF Amplifier
  • Gain Compression
  • Polarization Dependent Gain (PDG)
  • Polarization Hole Burning (PHB)
  • Spectral Hole Burning (SHB)
  • EDFA Categories
  • Commercial Amplifiers
  • Commercial Designs
  • Other Amplifier Types
  • Security Features

Chapter 9 - Chromatic Dispersion Measurements

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  • Chromatic Dispersion (CD) in Optical Fiber
  • Dispersion Measurements
  • Plot of Speed of Light vs. Signal Speed
  • Chromatic Dispersion Definitions
  • Dispersion Compensating Fiber (DCF)
  • Chirped Fiber Bragg Gratings
  • Chromatic Measurement System
  • Relative Group Delay
  • CD System “Test” and “Preview” Modes
  • Typical Measurement Results for DS Fiber
  • Reference Wavelength
  • Impact of Modulation Frequency
  • Effect of Modulation Frequency on Wavelength Resolution
  • Effect of Reducing Modulation Frequency
  • Wavelength Resolution
  • Interference Filter – Thin Film Type
  • Dispersion Compensating Fiber Bragg Grating
  • Chirped FBG Measured in Step and Preview Modes
  • Types of Dispersion in Optical Fiber
  • Polarization Mode Dispersion (PMD)
  • PMD – Birefringence
  • PMD of Single-Mode Fibers
  • PMD Effects on Optical Digital Transmissions
  • PMD Tolerance vs. Bit Rate

Chapter 10 - Testing DWDM Passive Optical Components

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  • Introduction
  • Increasing Bandwidth
  • Increasing Total Capacity of DWDM System
  • WDM Wavelengths 
  • Dense WDM Passive Components
  • Dispersion Compensators
  • Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBGs)
  • Common Passive Optical Component Tests
  • Polarization Dependent Loss (PDL) 
  • Return Loss (RL) or “all loss” 
  • Common Tests—Dispersion Measurements 
  • Increasing Transmission Capacity
  • Generic Principal of Loss Measurement
  • Common Tests – Generic Principle
  • Increasing Transmission Capacity
  • Swept Loss Measurement
  • Loss Measurement
  • Spectral Insertion Loss Measurement
  • Polarization Dependent Loss (PDL) Tests
  • Random Polarization Scanning Techniques
  • Mueller Matrix Technique
  • Polarization Test Methods
  • Mueller Method vs.  Polarization Scanning
  • Return Loss (RL) Tests
  • Calibration of the Set-Up
  • Source Monitoring
  • Test System Problems and Solutions
  • TLS – Multiple PM Set-Up
  • Measuring Insertion Loss vs. Wavelength
  • Dynamic Range
  • Dynamic Range—Filters
  • Low-SSE  Tunable Laser Cavity
  • Wavelength Accuracy
  • High-Speed Wavelength Meter
  • Real Time Wavelength Meter
  • Gas Absorption Cells as Wavelength Reference 
  • Wavelength Accuracy / Speed
  • Swept Insertion Loss Results

Chapter 11 - Application of Eye Diagrams

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  • Non Return-to-Zero (NRZ) vs. Return-to-Zero (RZ) Signals
  • Dispersion
    • Chromatic Dispersion
    • Polarization Mode Dispersion
  • NRZ and RZ signals
  • Extinction Ratio Measurements
  • Jitter
    • Jitter Defined
    • Digital Waveform with Jittered Edges
  • Contrast Ratio or Suppression Ratio
  • Eye Diagram
    • NRZ and RZ Eye Diagrams
    • Eye Mask Testing
  • Bit Error Rate (BER)
  • Stressed Eye Testing Procedure
  • Referenced Receiver

Chapter 12 - Fiber Optic Sensors

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  • Fiber Optic Accelerometers
  • Miniature Fiber Optic Microphone
  • Fiber Optic Sensors for Downhole Applications
    • Panasonic FX-500 Fiber Optic Sensor
    • Optical Sensing System - Heavy Oil Wells
    • Optical Sensors for Harsh Environments
    • Continuous Monitoring of Downhole Conditions
  • Reservoir Surveillance/Monitoring

Chapter 13 - Fiber Optic System Applications

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  • Medical Applications
  • Fiber Optics in Automobiles
    • Media Oriented Systems Transport (MOST)
    • ByteFlight
    • FlexRay
    • The Fully Networked Automobile
  • Airport Operations
  • Fiber Optic Lighting
  • Defense Industries
    • Navy Aviation Fiber Optic Program
    • Fiber Optics for Military Avionics
  • High Temperature Photonic Sensors
  • Fiber Optics in Space
    • Space Vehicles
    • Thermal Shrinkage
    • Radiation Effects
  • WaveStar OpticAir system—The Future

Chapter 14 - Optical Devices being Developed at the Naval Research Laboratory

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  • Fiber Sensor Applications
  • Immersive Input Display Device (I2D2)
  • Optical Interferometer (NPOI)
  • Fiber Optic Accelerometers
  • Interferometric Fiber Optic Accelerometers
  • Fiber Optic Strain Sensors
  • Miniature Fiber Optic Microphone
  • Fiber Optic Magnetic Field Sensors
  • Fiber Optic Seismic Sensors
  • Fiber Optic Hydrophones
  • Depthimeter
  • Fiber Optic Chemical Sensors
  • Fiber Optic Biosensor

chapter 15 - Development of Modern Communication Systems for US Air Force Aircraft Fleet

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  • Telecommunications on Air Force Aircraft
  • Fiber Optics as the Network Backbone
  • Fiber Optic Backbone
  • Versa Module Eurocard (VME)
  • Modular Technology - VME
  • Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
  • ATM Technology 
  • The Airborne C4I Concept

Appendix A - Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

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Appendix B - Index of Equations

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Appendix C - Excerpt from Optical Transport Networks & Technologies Standardization Work Plan (ITU-T)

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Appendix D - Review of Basic Electrical Theory

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Appendix E - Semiconductors, Diodes and Transistors

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Conclusion, Final Review

Award of Certificates for Successful Completion

Click for a printable course outline (pdf).

Revised 180807