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Fiber Optic Telecommunications Technology And Systems – A Two Course Sequence For A Telecommunications Engineering Technology Ms Program

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in Computer/Communications ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.627.1 - 10.627.8



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Paper Authors

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Warren Koontz

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

Session 2247

Fiber Optic Telecommunications Technology and Systems – A Two-Course Sequence for a Telecommunications Engineering Technology MS Program

Warren L G Koontz

Rochester Institute of Technology


The continuing growth of telecommunication networks is currently dominated by two technologies: fiber optics (or optical networking) and wireless. The Telecommunications Engineering Technology program at RIT, as part of its continuous improvement program, has been developing and updating courses in these important areas. This paper describes a two- course sequence in fiber optic telecommunication technology and systems. The first course in the sequence was introduced in the spring of 2001 as an advanced undergraduate elective. It has proven to be a popular course and has run at least once per year since then. The second course has just been completed and will be offered this spring (2005).

The paper begins with a brief overview of fiber optic telecommunication, including some recent forecasts of the future of optical networking. The next two sections describe each of the two courses and the last section is a short summary.

Fiber Optics and Telecommunication

Optical communication dates back at least to the ancient Greeks, who used fire signals in the eighth century BC. In 1880 Alexander Graham Bell patented the “photophone”, an optical telephone system. Although telephone traffic was carried primarily by wire through most of the twentieth century, investigation of optical communication continued. By 1960 optical fibers were being used in medical imaging, but their attenuation was much too high for long distance communication. Around 1970, however, researchers at Corning developed optical fiber with attenuation of less than 20 dB/km and Bell Laboratories demonstrated a point-to-point fiber optic telecommunication system in 1975. Thanks to further improvements of optical fiber as well as in laser diodes and photodiodes, the performance of fiber optic telecommunication systems has continued to improve. Currently available optical fibers offer attenuation less than 0.2 dB/km. The introduction of optical amplifiers and wavelength-division multiplexing in the 1990’s expanded the capacity and reach of fiber optic telecommunication systems dramatically. For “Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Koontz, W. (2005, June), Fiber Optic Telecommunications Technology And Systems – A Two Course Sequence For A Telecommunications Engineering Technology Ms Program Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14561

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