Satellite and Optical Communications - EL892

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
(version 3)
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7 15 (7.5) PROF S Gao


No formal pre-requisites, but students are expected to have studied basic material on RF communications technology at undergraduate level.





Lecture Syllabus

Optical Communications

Optical fibre propagation, attenuation, dispersion including polarization mode dispersion, scattering and nonlinear effects. Sources and source characteristics (spectrum, noise, modulation response): LEDs and Laser Diodes. External modulators. Detectors. Receiver analysis. Optical fibre link budget analyses. Optically amplified systems. WDM systems and component requirements. Polarization and spatial multiplexing. Visible light communications. Microwave photonic and radio over fibre systems. Ultra-high-bit-rate coherent systems.

Satellite Communication Systems

Introduction to satellite communication systems and sub-systems, orbits, radio propagation, satellite antennas, noise figure analysis, examples
Satellite link design and analysis, modulation and multiple access, earth station technology, satellite payloads, nonlinear HPA effects, examples


One 8-hour optical communications lab
One assignment on satellite communication systems


Contact hours

41 Contact hours
29 hours of Lectures
4 hours of Examples classes
8 hours of Laboratory
The total student workload is 150 hours.


Only available to students on programmes owned by The School of Engineering and Digital Arts

Method of assessment

Examination 80%
Coursework 20%

Indicative reading

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

1. An advanced and critical understanding of theory of satellite communication systems.
2. An ability to apply their knowledge to the analysis and design of satellite communication systems and the design of certain components for the system
3. An advanced and critical understanding of the theory of modern optical communication systems
4. An ability to apply their knowledge to the design of optical communications systems at a conceptual level

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