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Unit information: Optical Networks in 2021/22

Unit name Optical Networks
Unit code EENGM0003
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. George Kanellos
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

The objective of this course is to gain an understanding of the technologies and principles involved in the design and construction of a modern optical networks. This unit starts with an introduction to the networks requirements of telecommunication operators to support current, emerging and future Internet applications. Following this introduction, various optical networking technologies and optical network design principles addressing these requirements are introduced. This unit will focus on existing and state-of-the-art as well as emerging and future optical network technologies including Wavelength Division Multiplexed (WDM) network, Time Division Multiplexed (TDM) network , Optical frequency division multiplexed network and optical sub-wavelength switched network. The course will also address optical node design, optical network control and management, Ethernet and IP over Optical Layer for aforementioned transport technologies.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, the students will have a comprehensive understanding of the key issues and building blocks of modern optical networks including:

1. Explain and discuss issues associated with optical transport network to address requirements of emerging and future internet applications

2. Describe feature of WDM, OTDM, SDH/SONET, OTN , optical OFDM and sub-wavelength switched networks and their design principles including switching and transceiver

3. Identify the issues associated with transporting Internet data over various optical transport technologies

4. Identify control and management requirements for modern optical networks

5. Explain principle of GMPLS control plane technologies and identify its application to modern optical network

6. Describe routing and wavelength assignment process in optical network and identify its challenges

7. Compare the main features of WDM, optical OFDM, TDM and optical sub-wavelength switched networks

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

All ILOs will be assessed by a single exam.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EENGM0003).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.