93038 - Optical Technologies for Electrical Engineering M

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows the basic characteristics of the Optical Technologies which are mainly utilized in the area of Electrical Engineering. Starting from a physically-based point of view, and taking advantage of some laboratory experiences, he/she deeply understands how the peculiar features of these Technologies are exploited within Electrical Systems and Smart Grids, for Communications, Monitoring and Sensing applications.

Course contents

Module 1

Characteristics of Optical Fiber Systems in view of Electrical Engineering Applications

  • The Optical Fiber and its properties. Silica and Plastic optical Fibers. Optical Fiber as Transmission Channel for Telecommunications and as Distributed Sensor for Monitoring.
  • Aspects of the Transmission of the Electromagnetic Field in Optical Fiber systems
  • Optical Transmitters, Receivers and Components. General properties and required characteristics for Electrical Engineering applications.
  • System Design Considerations. Digital and Analog Optical Fiber systems. Topologies utilized in Telecommunication scenarios which can be adopted within Smart Grid contexts.

Module 2

Introduction of Optical Technologies in Electrical Engineering Systems and Subsystems

  • Smart Grid Monitoring and Control through Optical Fiber Systems. Advantages over other possible communication technologies (e.g. Power Line, Wireless, Digital Subscriber Line). Examples of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems exploiting the Optical infrastructure.
  • Fiber optics sensors in Power Grids. Quantities to be monitored and sensing technologies utilized. Optical Time and Frequency Domain Reflectometry for Optical Fiber System monitoring
  • Transmission of Electrical Power through Optical Fiber Systems: the Power over Fiber (PoF) technique Technical Characteristics and advantages of the PoF technique. Examples of distribution of the electrical power through the PoF technique within applicative scenarios


Lecture Notes given by the Teacher

Teaching methods

Oral lectures

Participation to Seminars

Laboratory Activities

Assessment methods

The exam will consist in a written part which must be passed in order to attend to a subsequent oral part.

The written parts aims to check the capability of the student to solve numerical exercises, regarding the different parts of the program, of the kind that are solved in class during the course. The result of the written part will be a "judgement": insufficient/sufficient/fair/good/very good.

Aim of the oral part is to integrate the judgement coming from the written part, taking into account the capability of the student to explain the concepts in a clear manner, and his effective understanding of the program contents.

The final level of preparation of the student will be expressed by a score (min: 18, max: 30 cum laude)

Teaching tools

Traditional Blackboard

Laboratory Measurement Devices

Exercises solved in class for training.

Office hours

See the website of Giovanni Tartarini

See the website of Jacopo Nanni