SK2811 Fiber-optical Communication 7.5 credits

Fiberoptisk kommunikation

The high ways of the IT society are the optical fibers. An optical fiber can transport several tens of terabit per second over hundreds of kilometers. Fiber-optic communication is an established technique but is simultaneously in rapid technical development towards higher bit-rates and more complex networks. The course will give you the knowledge in order to understand both the fundamentals and the rapid development, that you as professional engineer can use the fiber optics efficiently. The course treats important devices as optical fibers, laser diodes, optical detectors, and receivers from physical and transmission system point of view. You will also learn how to optimise optical communication links and calculate the bit error rate. The language is english

  • Education cycle

    Second cycle
  • Main field of study

    Engineering Physics
  • Grading scale

    A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Course offerings

Autumn 19 for programme students

Autumn 19 for Study Abroad Programme (SAP)

  • Periods

    Autumn 19 P1 (7.5 credits)

  • Application code


  • Start date


  • End date


  • Language of instruction


  • Campus

    KTH Kista

  • Tutoring time


  • Form of study


  • Number of places *

    Min. 25

    *) The Course date may be cancelled if number of admitted are less than minimum of places.

  • Course responsible

    Urban Westergren <>

  • Teacher

    Richard Schatz <>

  • Target group

    Only SAP-students. Students from UCAS only.

    Physics Background

  • Application

    Apply for this course at through this application link.
    Please note that you need to log in at to finalize your application.

Information for research students about course offerings

The course codefor phfdstudentsareSK3885.

Intended learning outcomes

The course content is knowledge of fibre optical components, links, and systems. The system relevant parameters of devices are derived from a physical description, and these parameters form the basis for designing fibre optic links.

After a completed course the participants should be able to:

  • Understand, describe, analyze, compare the most important devices: light sources, fibres and detectors from both physical and system point of view.
  • Design digital fibre optic links and.

Course main content

Dielectric wave-guides: Attenuation, wavelength dispersion.

Light sources: Semiconductor laser, light emitting diode, rate equations, output power, modulation, noise, laser amplifiers, chirp.

Detectors: PIN diode, avalanche diode, responsivity, bandwidth, noise,

Systems: Direct detection systems, heterodyne systems, attenuation limitations, dispersion limitations, signal dependent noise, additive noise, bit error rate, optical networks, solitones.


Bachelor's degree in physics, electrical engineering or equivalent degree

Recommended prerequisites

It is anticipated that the students are acquainted with:
- Waveguides: Wave equation and the concept of modes. 
- Solid-state electronics: p-n-junction
- Circuit theory: Impulse response, convolution, transfer function of linear systems.
- Signal theory: Auto correlation function, power spectral density


Agrawal: ”Fiber-Optic Communication Systems”, third edition, Wiley 2002. Other course litterature includes collection of problems, old examinations and laboratory instructions


  • LAB1 - Laboratory work, 1.5, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Exam, 6.0, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Requirements for final grade

One written examination (TEN1, 6 credits) and lab course (LAB1, 1.5  credit)

Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics


Richard Schatz (


Urban Westergren <>

Supplementary information

Replaces IO2653


Course syllabus valid from: Spring 2017.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2017.