BEng Electronic Engineering with Industrial Experience

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Transmissions Lines & Optical Fibres

Course unit fact file
Unit code EEEN30212
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will cover the following:

(1) Transmission Lines

Introduction, circuits electrically large compared with λ. What is a transmission line? Simple transmission line structures. Time and space dependence of signals on ideal transmission lines. L, R, C, & G per unit length - Primary constants. One dimensional wave equation. Phase velocity.

Derivation of characteristic impedance. Line terminations, reflection and transmission coefficients. Steps and pulses on transmission lines, lattice diagram. Sinusoids on transmission lines. Solution to one-dimensional wave equation. Propagation constant, attenuation and phase constants. Reflection and dispersion.

Standing wave ratio, VSWR, and relationship with reflection coefficient. Sketches and derivations of Imax, Imin, Vmax, Vmin, Zmax and Zmin. Derivation of input impedance for an arbitrarily loaded lossless transmission line.

(2) Optical Fibres

Optical Fibres:  fibre modes and numerical aperture. Loss (attenuation) mechanisms. Bandwidth limitations: Intermodal and intramodal dispersion. Pulse broadening, rms spectral width and pulse width concepts, ISI and eye diagrams, maximum bit-rate and fibre bandwidth.

Optical Receivers and sources: PIN diodes, quantum efficiency, responsivity, noise and bandwidth. LEDs and laser diodes, modulation characteristics and bandwidth limitations. External modulators.

Optical amplifiers, operation principles and system applications. Wavelength division multiplexing.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Electronic Circuit Design I EEEN10232 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 2020/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

The course unit unit aims to:

•       To build upon fundamental principles from circuit analysis to yield a quantitative model for wave propagation along transmission lines. 

•       To introduce the use of optical fibres for wideband digital communication.

Learning outcomes

All of the following Intended Learning Outcomes are developed and assessed. On the successful completion of the course, students will be able to:



Develop a quantitative model for wave propagation along transmission lines building upon fundamental principles from circuit analysis and electromagnetic fields.


Analyse the pulsed propagation properties on a transmission line using the bounce diagram.


Calculate the input impedance to an arbitrarily terminated non-dispersive transmission line.


Analyse the sinusoidal steady state performance of a transmission line in terms of propagation constant, reflection coefficient and standing wave ratio and their relevance to supporting a propagating electromagnetic wave.


Summarize the fundamental mode of operation  of optical sources, fibres, amplifiers and detectors in relation to fibre optic communications.


Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of different fibre systems for different applications from a cost and performance perspective.


Predict the performance of a long or short haul optical fibre system based on the performance of its component parts.


Calculate impact of attenuation, amplification and noise on digital transmission rates in fibre optic communication.


Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, Practical work/laboratories

Tutorials; Revision lectures/surgeries; Online discussions;


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 20%
Written exam 80%


Coursework forms 20% of the unit assessment and is both formative and summative and assessed by a lab report.

Recommended reading

  1. Fundamentals of Applied Electromagnetics, Ulaby, Fawwaz T, (2015) F, Global Edition Pearson Education Limited  (Core)
  2. Optical Fibre Communications, Gerd Keiser (Core)


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 9
Tutorials 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 67

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Subhasish Chakraborty Unit coordinator

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