Course syllabus


SSY085 Wireless and photonics system engineering lp1 HT20 (7.5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience

Contact details

Course purpose

The aim of the course is to treat the main ideas, methods, circuits, and components of microwave and photonic engineering from a system perspective, and thus give the overview system understanding required for a hardware engineer. The main application is communication systems (wireless and fiber-based), but also other kind of systems will be touched upon, e.g. radars, laser ranging and sensing systems. The course will also serve as a broad introduction to the important system applications of photonics and microwave technology, and thus motivate deeper studies in more specific areas further on in the master program.


The course covers wireless and fiber optic communication systems from a system-, or block diagram, perspective. The basic building blocks in those systems are reviewed (e.g. transmitters, receivers, oscillators, amplifiers, mixers, photodetectors), and their basic properties described. Particular emphasis is paid to noise properties, the various sources of noise in the different components, signal to noise ratios and power budgets. Also system nonlinearities, such as intermodulation distortion, is introduced and accounted for, as well as dispersive effects and other bandwidth limitations. Hetro- and homodyning, together with digital modulation principles and bit error rates will be discussed, and the course is wrapped up with microwave photonics and subcarrier modulation, which can be seen as examples of interdisciplinary system concepts, involving both microwave and photonic technologies.


TimeEdit (TBD)

Course literature

  • D. M. Pozar: Microwave and RF Design of Wireless Systems (ISBN: 0-471-32282-2)

  • B.E. A. Saleh and M. C. Teich: Fundamentals of Photonics, 2nd ed. (ISBN: 0-471-35832-0)

Both books are available for purchase at Chalmers Cremona Bookstore.

Course design

The course is organized with lectures and problem solving classes, and a final problem-oriented exam. Two of the problems solved in class are of a bigger and system-design-oriented character, involving a plethora of issues to be accounted for, and spanning over several occasions. Solutions to these problems shall be presented by one group of students and commented by the other students and the teacher.

Learning objectives

  • Understand the function and know typical parameter values of basic photonic and microwave system building blocks such as: modulators, mixers, filters, couplers, amplifiers, detectors, antennas, and fibers.
  • Explain basic principles of modulation, detection, amplification, mixing, and filtering in microwave and photonic systems.
  • Understand and explain differences and similarities in the design and analysis of microwave and photonic systems.
  • Analyze the effects of propagation, noise, dispersion, and intermodulation on microwave and photonic system performance.
  • Derive system block diagrams that meet application specific requirements for multiplexing, capacity, bit-error-rate, mobility, and cost in microwave and photonic systems.
  • Evaluate and criticize high level design of microwave and photonic systems.

Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen: Study plan

Examination form

Written exam (problem oriented, "open book")

Course summary:

Date Details Due