ENEE20003 - Optical Fibre Communications

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit, you will develop an understanding of optical fibre communications from the basic components up to the system levels. You will analyse various optical fibre link parameters including loss, bandwidth, and bit error rate. You will characterise optical components and systems using practical experiments and advanced simulation tools during laboratory/workshop sessions for on-campus students or during a residential school for mixed-mode students. Upon completion of this unit, you will gain advanced knowledge to analyse and design complex optical communication systems. Prior knowledge of basic concepts of electrical circuit analysis, signals, and systems and fundamental electromagnetic theory is assumed. Online students are also required to attend a compulsory residential school.

Details

Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 9
Credit Points 12
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.25
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School Compulsory Residential School
View Unit Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2020

Term 2 - 2020 Profile
Melbourne
Perth
Rockhampton
Term 1 - 2021 Profile
Melbourne
Mixed Mode
Perth
Rockhampton
Term 2 - 2021 Profile
Melbourne
Mixed Mode
Perth
Rockhampton

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 12-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 25 hours of study per week, making a total of 300 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Test 0%
2. Practical Assessment 20%
3. Online Test 10%
4. Project (applied) 25%
5. Online Test 45%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2020 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 100% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Unit Survey
Feedback
Reminders of weekly teaching and learning activities in the lectures and Moodle have helped students remain focused on their learning.
Recommendation
Students will continue to be reminded of the teaching and learning activities every week, at the end of lectures and also via news items posted in Moodle when relevant. It is anticipated that the timely reminder of the learning activities will improve performance student outcomes in this unit.
Action Taken
Reminders were regularly provided at the end of each lecture and they were also sent to students in the form of news items posted on the forum. This helped students to engage and complete their assessment submissions on time. This practice will be continued in future unit delivery.
Source: Unit Survey
Feedback
One day workshop for learning the simulation software is inadequate for effective use of this software for the design project.
Recommendation
Learning the simulation software will be introduced much earlier in the term in the form of weekly homework for students to familiarise themselves with the operation and the working of the simulation software within the first half of the term and a formal workshop focusing on the design project will be further provided in week 7 as it has always been offered in the previous terms. With these additional scaffolding of learning, it is believed that the students' ability to use the software for simulation of complex systems would be improved. This will then have a flowing effect to improve the quality of the project work and the unit pass rate.
Action Taken
Weekly homework and tutorials on using the VPIPhotonics Design Suite software were provided weekly for the first half of the term. This occurred until the design project workshop to help students learn and master the software. This practice will be continued in future unit delivery.
Source: Unit Survey
Feedback
The teaching style and the quality of lecture materials and the effective method of delivery had helped me to learn the subject in an easy way.
Recommendation
The teaching materials and the delivery method will be maintained and continuously revised for improvements. Especially more scaffolding of learning steps will be introduced to further ease the learning of difficult concepts to better equip students with the necessary knowledge to tackle the assessment tasks.
Action Taken
The teaching materials were regularly updated and refined for every delivery, taking into account the feedback and observation of the earlier deliveries to improve their teaching effectiveness. This practice will be continued in future unit delivery.
Source: Unit coordinator's observation
Feedback
The laboratory exercises were very useful to help students learn the key concepts introduced in the lecture.
Recommendation
The laboratory exercises are an integral part of the learning activities for this unit. They also provide students with the practical experiences of optical components and systems. The laboratory exercises will be maintained and continue to be improved with updated materials. A more detailed guidance for the lab report will also be provided to assist students to achieve a better report mark and thus improve their experiences and satisfaction with this assessment.
Action Taken
Due to COVID-19, face to face laboratories were not possible. Instead, a laboratory demonstration was conducted as an interactive session via Zoom and the measurement results were then provided for students afterward to prepare and complete the lab report for assessment. The unit survey indicates that students would prefer a face to face mode of doing the lab but they also understood why it was not possible for this term.
Source: Unit coordinator's observation
Feedback
The online tests assist students to stay focused on recent learned materials and also provide prompt feedback to students about their understanding.
Recommendation
The online tests will be maintained and updated to encourage students to review the materials regularly and also provide them a means for obtaining prompt feedback. This early feedback will provide students with indications of their understanding of the materials which then allow them to act on a timely manner and to improve their unit outcome.
Action Taken
The mid-term online test was conducted in week 6 of term to provide quick learning feedback to students and to keep them engaged with the materials. This approach will be maintained in future unit delivery.
Source: Unit's survey
Feedback
The unit covers all essential aspects of optical communications.
Recommendation
The unit's material is constantly improved and updated with the latest developments in the fast growing field of optical communications.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Unit's survey
Feedback
The best thing about this unit is the experience in learning how to use the VPIPhotonics Design Suite software to simulate optical systems.
Recommendation
VPIPhotonics Design Suite is a state of the art photonics simulation software. It provides students with a virtual environment to learn and experience the sophisticated behaviors of optical components and systems. This software will continue to be used to enrich learning in the future offering of the unit.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Unit's survey
Feedback
Due to COVID-19, the practical laboratory was replaced by a video laboratory demonstration and Zoom session. This has negatively impacted on the hands-on skills that could be gained.
Recommendation
The laboratory is an important and integral part of the unit's learning and it is also aimed to provide students with hands-on experience of optical components and systems. The laboratory will be resumed to face to face and hand-on mode in the future when the restrictions are lifted.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Unit's survey
Feedback
More tutorials on how to use the VPIPhotonics Design Suite would be helpful in learning how to use the software.
Recommendation
Weekly VPIPhotonics Design Suite's tutorials will be developed to assist students in gaining know-hows in using the software.
Action Taken
Nil.
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Analyse optical components including advanced models of optical transmitter, receiver, and optical fibre
  2. Predict system performances through advanced modelling of loss, bandwidth, and error rate using the state of the art simulation tools
  3. Design sophisticated fibre optic systems using advanced technologies
  4. Characterise components of optical fibre communications systems and confirm overall system performances using both theoretical analysis and practical measurements
  5. Document and communicate professional engineering information including computer-based simulations and drawings using appropriate electrical engineering standards, terminology, and symbols
  6. Scope, plan, manage, and successfully complete engineering projects autonomously and in teams with a responsible, ethical, and professional attitude regarding the role of engineers.

We are seeking accreditation for the Masters of Engineering Course. This will be a unit in that course.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
2 - Practical Assessment
3 - Online Test
4 - Project (applied)
5 - Online Test
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7 - Leadership
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Online Test
2 - Practical Assessment
3 - Online Test
4 - Project (applied)
5 - Online Test