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Wired, Wireless & Optical Transmission - ELE00105M

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Alister Burr
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module summary

Please note that the prerequisites are for fourth year MEng students taking this module. The only prerequisite for MSc Communications Engineering students is to achieve entry to the programme.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • To describe and analyse the physical layer techniques used for current and proposed digital communication systems using twisted-pair cable (such as DSL broadband and gigabit Ethernet), wireless (including WiFi, 4G and broadcast systems), and optical communications, especially fibre-optic broadband
  • To analyse the effects of the channel in wired, wireless and optical systems, then describe the techniques used to overcome these, and the standards that have been defined for current and proposed systems

Graduate skills aims:

  • To develop critical skills in the selection, adaptation and application of appropriate numeric and algebraic techniques

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Understand the propagation of signals along lossy transmission lines, including attenuation, dispersion, and cross-talk
  • Understand multipath wireless channels, including time dependent fading, dispersion, Doppler spectra and the scattering function, and be able to show appropriate models for these channels
  • Understand physical layer techniques for operating over wired and wireless channels including OFDM/DMT and MIMO, giving examples from DSL and Ethernet physical layers for wired systems, and 4G mobile, WiFi and digital broadcasting for wireless
  • Have knowledge of the advantages and limitations of optical communications
  • Understand the principles and main features of optical sources, detectors and amplifiers
  • Understand modulation in optical communications, including direct vs external modulation, the use of eye diagrams and chirp
  • Have knowledge of multiplexing: the definition, WDM and TDM and future trends
  • Understand limitations in optical links: capacity, sensitivity, physical implementation including dispersion limit, sensitivity/loss limit and dispersion compensation
  • Be able to calculate power budgets in amplified and non-amplified links, and understand the main system architectures (grid, ring, and tree)
  • Understand optical access: "Fibre to the home/kerb", Active and Passive optical networks
  • Be able to establish and use channel models for wired, wireless and optical systems
  • Develop a basic design of transmission schemes using OFDM/DMT and/or MIMO
  • Be able to design a link and dispersion budget for an optical communication system

Graduate skills learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be able to express advanced technical concepts concisely and accurately and comment on their applications, limitations and implications
  • Be able to select, adapt and apply a range of mathematical techniques to solve advanced problems and explain the implications of the answer


Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Wired, Wireless & Optical Transmission
2 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Wired, Wireless & Optical Transmission
2 hours 100

Module feedback

Feedback on the examination performance will be provided within six weeks. Formative feedback is provided in seminars.

Indicative reading

Notes and readings will be provided in class

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students