Fiber Optic Cables

Fiber Optic Cables

Fiber Optic Cables

By Anne Ahira

Recently it has become very evident that fiber-optics were steadily to replace copper wire as a fitting means of communication transmission signal. Fiber optic cables span the long distances in between any local phone systems, and also provide the transmissions for many of our network systems. Not only are fiber optic cables useful for telephone transmission but many electric utility companies, industrial plants, office buildings, university campuses and cable television services also use them.

Similar to the “old” copper wire system, a fiber optic cables system replaces the copper wire system. There is a difference however, fiber optics will use various light pulses in order to transmit information down their fiber lines rather than using transmitted information down copper lines that used the electronic pulses. The fiber optic chain is thus able to work along with wire-based systems.

With either system, at the one end of the system is found a transmitter. In other words this is where the information originates that will come onto the fiber optic cables. Said transmitter’s job is to accept coded and indirect electronic pulse information that comes from the copper wire. By processing the information and translating the information into the same kinds of coded light pulses, the transmitter begins its work.

Two different kinds of equipment can emit the light. There is an injection-laser diode, referred to as an ILD, and there is also a light emitting diode. While using a lens, those light pulses will be funneled directly into the fiber optic medium as they begin to travel down the cable. This light, which is near infrared, is usually kept at 850nm for short distances, but will be kept at 1,300nm when the distances are longer. They will travel on what is called multi-mode fiber, or single-mode fiber depending on the distances that need to be covered.

These light pulses will move effortlessly down those fiber optic cables or lines due to a principle known as total internal reflection. Thus, when this principle gets applied to making a fiber optic strand, it will become feasible for the lines to transmit information down those lines in the form of the aforementioned light pulses.

Meanwhile the core must be constructed of very clear and definitely pure material for the light. The core may be plastic, as it is when short distances are involved, or glass. Most optical fibers are made from glass and generally are made from pure silica. Other materials are sometimes used such as chalcogenide, fluoroaluminate, and fluorozirconate glass. Those are used for the longer wavelength applications.

Interestingly enough, laser light that shines through a fiber optic cable is often subject to loss of strength, due mostly through dispersion and a scattering of the light, ordinarily within the cable itself. In that case, light strengtheners that are identified as repeaters will then refresh that weak signal.

The very first commercial use of fiber optic systems was in 1977, and since then a tremendous amount of commercial uses have been found for fiber optic cables.

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