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While there are several ways to classify fiber optic links, this chapter classifies links according to the modulation type: either digital or analog. Modulation is the process of varying one or more characteristics of an optical signal to encode and convey information. Generally, the intensity of the optical signal is modulated in fiber optic communications systems.

Digital modulation implies that the optical signal consists of discrete levels.

Analog modulation implies that the intensity of the optical signal is proportional to a continuously varying electrical input. Most fiber optic systems are digital because digital transmission systems generally provide superior performance over analog transmission systems.

Q.4 Define modulation.

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