Master Course Syllabus for EE 465




Credits: 4


UW Course Catalog Description


Coordinator: Martin A. Afromowitz, Professor, Electrical Engineering


Goals: To develop a working knowledge of fiber optic principles, systems and components.


Learning Objectives: At the end of this course, students will be able to


1. Derive the solutions to Maxwell's equations for dielectric waveguiding structures.

2. Discuss the details of dispersion and attenuation processes in optical fibers.

3. Explain fiber fabrication and characterization methods.

4. Describe the basic concepts of the operation of semiconductor light sources and detectors.

5. Explain applications of fiber optics in communications and sensing.

6. Measure basic optical fiber parameters and build simple optical fiber systems.


Textbook: S. O. Kasap, Optoelectronics and Photonics, Prentice Hall, 2001.


Reference: None


Prerequisites by Topic:


1.Basic electromagnetics, waves and boundary conditions

2.Semiconductor theory, especially p-n junctions




1. Total internal reflection; propagation and guidance in optical waveguides; TE & TM modes; planar & rectangular dielectric waveguides (2 weeks)

2. Step & graded index optical fibers; single mode and multimode guides; hybrid & LP modes; attenuation, scattering, dispersion and pulse broadening (2-1/2 weeks)

3. Fiber fabrication techniques, optical fiber standards and measurement methods (2 weeks)

4. Optical sources, detectors, and couplers (2 weeks)

5. Applications including communications and sensors (1-1/2 weeks)


Course Structure: The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 2 consecutive 50-minute sessions. A weekly homework assignment is assigned consisting of problems related to the topics covered in class. Three laboratory exercises are assigned during the quarter, and experiments are performed by lab teams consisting of 3 - 4 students. Each student will prepare a written lab report on one of the experiments, selected by the instructor. There will be a midterm and a final exam.


Computer Resources: None required, although Mathcad, Matlab or Mathematica may be useful for some of the homework assignments. These programs are available on license to the Department.


Laboratory Resources: Typical laboratory experiments take two to three hours, and may include experiments such as:


Observing modes in fibers with few and many modes; measuring numerical aperture.

Measuring the attenuation of a fiber as a function of wavelength.

>Measuring fiber characteristics using an Optical Time-Domain Reflectometer.


Lab teams will select available lab times, and either the instructor or a TA will be available during each lab session to introduce each team to the experimental apparatus and lab procedures.


Grading: Course grading will be based upon homework (25%), the lab report (15%), and the two exams (60%).


Outcome Coverage:


a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering knowledge: In every lecture and in every laboratory exercise, math, science and engineering knowledge will be developed in the student. This includes: practice in the use of Maxwell's Equations to derive guided-wave solutions in dielectric waveguides of various geometries; the basic physics of the wavelength-dependence of refractive index, absorption and scattering; engineering principles of the dispersion of digital signals; fiber manufacturing techniques and quality control issues; the fundamentals of semiconductor optical devices; and the design of sensing and communications systems. All homeworks and exams will test various aspects of the math, science and engineering knowledge developed by the students. (H)


b)An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data: Each lab exercise will be introduced by related lecture materials. General laboratory objectives will be outlined, and suitable methods will be presented, but specific procedures will be designed by each lab team as they attempt to answer specific questions. Experimental design and the conduct of experiments will be tested through lab reports (15% of the final grade). (H)


c) An ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability and sustainability: Several homework assignments and exam problems will require the students to design optical waveguides to meet specified characteristics, and to optimize the design of small communications or sensing systems. (M)


e) The ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems: The homework involves solving engineering problems exemplified by class discussion. The midterm and final projects challenge the students to identify the issues and formulate their individual solutions. (H)


g) An ability to communicate effectively: Students receive one hour of lecture and written guidelines on proper format and writing style for laboratory reports. For one of the three assigned experiments, each student is required to write a five to seven page laboratory report in the required format. The laboratory reports are graded on a combination of writing style and technical content. Writing style is typically 30% of the laboratory report grade. (M)


h)The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context: Optical fiber systems have become pervasive in land-based, trans-oceanic, aircraft and shipboard telecommunications systems. In reviewing the societal impact of the increased bandwidth and lower cost afforded by these innovations, we also discuss the potential for future improvements, and consider the changes that may result from them. (M)


k) An ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice: The laboratory exercises and associated lectures instruct the students on the use of modern optical fiber system test equipment (three lectures, three labs), and student proficiency is examined through lab reports, homework problems and exam questions. (M)


Preparer: Martin A. Afromowitz


Last revised: 12/4/12