Kartalopoulos, S. V. Department of Telecommunications Networking, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Basic components
- Wavelength-division multiplexing
- WDM technology
- Optical switching and routing
- Free-space optical (FSO) communications
- Next-generation optical networks
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The transmission of speech, data, video, and other information using light in the frequency range below the infrared limit of the visible spectrum. Optical communications networks now perform this function. An optical communications link consists, at minimum, of a data or information source, a modulated laser transmitter, an optically transparent transmission medium, possibly an amplifier, and a photodetector receiver that recovers the transmitted data (Fig. 1). The predominant medium is optically transparent fiber; in this form, the technology is called fiber-optic communications. In another application, optical communications uses free space: free-space optical (FSO) communications.
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