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Distance Learning And Remote Controlled Laboratories For Photonics Training

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.391.1 - 6.391.11



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Paper Authors

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Tak Cheung

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David Lieberman

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1526

Distance Learning and Remote Controlled Laboratories for Photonics Technology

David Lieberman, Tak Cheung Queensborough Community College

Abstract Most colleges cannot develop technology programs in photonics or related areas due to the large start-up costs involved. One solution is to use distance learning to access specialized technology from another college. A major roadblock to the development of science and technology courses for distance learning is the laboratory. Among the concerns is that a “real” laboratory experience is an important part of many such classes and difficult to achieve through distance learning. At Queensborough Community College, with the support of the National Science Foundation (Advanced Technological Education grant award #DUE – 9752061), we have addressed the issues of distance learning and laboratories and are adapting courses for our Laser and Fiber- Optics Technology Program for distance learning. The “problem” of the laboratory is solved by remote-controlled laboratory equipment. We have completed the work on course materials in physical optics, lasers and fiber optics. Course materials include interactive multimedia textbooks and laboraotry manuals along with the remote-controlled laboratory exercises. Remote-controlled laboratory exercises include interferometry, diffraction, polarization, acousto- optics, electro-optics, second harmonic generation, Q-switching, modelocking, thermal lensing, diode laser characteristics, laser principles, optical time domain reflectometry, coupling losses, wave division multiplexing and characteristics of fiber optic switches and couplers. As course materials were developed they were tested at a remote site, Suffolk County Community College.

I. Introduction

Recently, institutions of higher learning are trying to be more accessible to students. For students who may have difficulty attending courses on campus, distance learning modalities, such as those based on using television, videotapes and the web, are actively being pursued. In this regard, all colleges are competing with one another. The case is quite different when it comes to technology programs. Most colleges can not develop courses and programs in certain areas of technology. In particular, programs in photonics and related technologies require substantial start-up costs. These costs are prohibitive for many institutions especially in light of the relatively small number of students these programs would serve. Another factor is the requirement for laboratories in many science and technology courses. Laboratory exercises involving real equipment in real

“Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education”

Cheung, T., & Lieberman, D. (2001, June), Distance Learning And Remote Controlled Laboratories For Photonics Training Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9145

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