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Compact disc players in the laboratory: experiments in optical storage, error correction, and optical fiber communication

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3 Author(s)
P. M. Lane ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Dalhousie Univ., Halifax, NS, Canada ; R. Van Dommelen ; M. Cada

The compact disc player is a synergy of optics, communication theory, digital signal processing, and control engineering. This familiar consumer product may be employed as a cost-effective laboratory instrument to teach the fundamentals of optical storage, error detection and correction, and optical communication. The compact disc audio system, from analog input, through optical storage and distribution, to audio reproduction, provides an excellent model of a complete real-world optical transmission and storage system. A series of experiments, which illustrate some of the more significant operational principles of the compact disc player, are presented in this contribution. Optical read-out and the physics of information density are explored through a set of experiments in optical storage. Error detection and correction are studied experimentally by evaluating the performance of the compact disc player's error control system. The design of an optical fiber communication system is studied by extracting the channel bit stream from a compact disc player, transmitting it over an optical fiber link, and then reinserting it back into the compact disc player for audio reproduction

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 1 )