First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Engineering
Course unit
INP9087863, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
IN2371, Degree course structure A.Y. 2019/20, A.Y. 2019/20
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Degree course track PHOTONICS [003PD]
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination OPTICAL AND QUANTUM COMMUNICATIONS
Department of reference Department of Information Engineering
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ROBERTO CORVAJA ING-INF/03

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses ING-INF/03 Telecommunications 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2019 course timetable

Prerequisites: Digital communications: principles and analysis of a digital link in terms of error probability.
Vector spaces.
Probability and theory of random processes.
Target skills and knowledge: Optical communications
The overall objective is to analyze the performance and get the capability of designing the link in classical optical fibre communications.
In detail the knowledge to be acquired is:
- the structure of the optical fibre and its parameters
- the optical sources: laser and LED
- the model of the optical link and its components
- the digital signal in the link and their characteristics
- the source of noises, in particular the shot noise
- the photon counting statistics, with photo-detectors and optical amplifiers
- evaluation of the error probability
- principles of coherent optical communications
In terms of skills, the objectives are:
- Characterize the optical fibre and its main parameters and their impact on the communication system.
- Analyze the performance of a fibre communication system according to all the noise sources
- Characterize the shot noise and the excess noise in photo-detectors and optical amplifiers.
- Analyze the optical link and evaluate the error probability
- Design the optical link
- Analyze the performance (error probability) of coherent systems

Quantum communications
The overall objective is to understand the principles of quantum communications systems, in particular with coherent states.
In detail the knowledge to be acquired is:
- Dirac's notation and the mathematics of Hilbert spaces: operators, spectral decomposition, projectors
- The postulates of quantum mechanics
- The theory of quantum measurements
- The model and the analysis tools of a quantum communications system
- The theory for the evaluation and the optimization od the error probability.
- Coherent states
- Evaluate the error probability of quantum communication systems with coherent states.
The skills to be acquired are:
- Acquire the use of the basic mathematical tools to operate on Hilbert spaces: operators, spectral decomposition, projectors
- Acquire the principles of quantum mechanics related to the theory of quantum measurements
- Acquire the capability to model a quantum communication system
- Characterize the quantum communication system in terms of error probability.
- Characterize coherent quantum states
- Use the mathematical tools of quantum measurements to compare the performance of classical and quantum communication systems with coherent states
Examination methods: Written exam at the end of the course. Possible intermediate exam. Optional project developed in Matlab, to solve some case studies.
Assessment criteria: The evaluation will be based on the solution of exercises that assess the capacity of designing and analysis, with a weight of about 60% for classical optical communications and about 40% to asses the knowledge of the mathematical tools for the analysis of quantum communications.
Up to 30% of the evaluation can be associated to an optional project developed in Matlab (or Python or other programming language).
Course unit contents: 1. Optical communication systems
2. Characteristics of the optical fibre
3. Impulses in the optical digital link
4. Poisson processes and shot noise characterization
5. Error probability
6. Optical amplification
7. Coherent optical transmission
8. Review of the principles of quantum mechanics
9. Hilbert spaces: operators and projectors, spectral decomposition
10. Quantum measurements and optimization of the measurements
11. Quantum decision theory and application to quantum communications
12. Coherent states
13. Quantum telecommunication systems with coherent states
14. Applications of Q-TLC
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Additional material on the Moodle web-site
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Gerd Keiser, Optical Fiber Communications. --: McGraw-Hill Education, 2014. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Gianfranco Cariolaro, Quantum communications. --: Springer, 2015. Cerca nel catalogo
  • S. C. Gupta, Textbook on optical fiber communication and its applications. --: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd., 2012. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Ivan Kaminow, Tingye Li, Alan E . Willner, Optical Fiber Telecommunications (Sixth Edition). --: Elsevier, 2013. ISBN: 978-0-12-396960-6 Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Problem solving
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)
  • Matlab

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