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Lightwave Systems (ELEN90059)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeELEN90059
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


Lightwave systems are fundamentally changing the way we communicate through broadband communications, helping clinicians to perform a range of medical procedures and diagnosis supported by advanced biomedical instrumentation, and even in the way we live in our homes through sophisticated interactive televisions and security systems.

This subject will explore the physical principles and issues that arise in the design of lightwave systems often found in those key industry sectors. Students will study topics from: transmission of light over wave guides; production of light by lasers; light modulation; conversion of light signals to electrical signals; optical multiplexing and demultiplexing; light amplification; dispersion and dispersion compensation; optical nonlinearities; modulation and advanced detection schemes. This material will be complemented by exposure to lightwave systems and measurement techniques in the laboratory.


This subject will explore the physical principles governing the generation, modulation, amplification, guiding, transmission, multiplexing, demultiplexing and detection of light and issues that arise in the design of lightwave systems such as transmission impairments, noise. Students learn selected examples of lightwave systems and methods for design, modelling and testing of simple lightwave systems.

Intended learning outcomes


On completing this subject the student should be able to:

  1. Explain the operation of lightwave systems in terms of the underlying physical principles
  2. Design, model and simulate simple lightwave systems
  3. Quantitatively model and assess the performance of common lightwave systems
  4. Conduct laboratory experiments involving lightwave devices and systems as well as design tools

Generic skills

On completion of this subject, students will have developed the following skills:

  • Ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals;
  • In-depth technical competence in at least one engineering discipline;
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution;
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance;
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning;
  • Ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large.

Last updated: 22 August 2019