A key goal of the Telecommunications Engineering Technology program at RIT is to prepare our students to work with sophisticated communications technology by giving them hands-on experience with the technology to support what they learn in the classroom. Most courses in the program, including the courses on optical communication, have associated laboratory exercises. Ideally, the laboratory exercises should include working with actual optical communication components and systems and some of this equipment is available in our laboratories. However, this equipment is limited to low bit rate (OC-3) and short distance because of cost and space constraints. Because of these constraints, we complement hardware-based exercises with software-based exercises that simulate the long-haul high bit rate systems that graduates will encounter on the job. This report presents the current state of our laboratory instructional program with emphasis on the dual roles of hardware and simulation exercises. It describes the philosophy behind the exercises and provides some examples. It also describes how, using the simulation tool that we have chosen, we can make simulation exercises available to online students who do not have full access to the simulation software. And it describes our current hardware configuration and the complementary exercises that the hardware supports.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



2006 ITERA Conference, Las Vegas, NV Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Department, Program, or Center

Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (CAST)


RIT – Main Campus