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Fiber Optics

Fiber Optics

Fiber optics can also be spelled as fiber optics is the science of transmitting data, voice and images by the passage of light through thin and transparent fibers. Fiber optics is a long fiber which is usually made of plastic or glass. It consists of two parts, an inner glass fiber core, and an outer cladding. Each of them has different refractive index to bed the incoming light. Copper wire has been replaced by fiber optic in the field of telecommunication. Fiber optics is used in long-distance telephone lines, and it is used to link computers within local area networks. Optical fibers have the diameter of about a strand of human hair and when bundled into a fiber-optic cable, they’re capable of transmitting more data along longer distances and even faster than other mediums. Fiber-optic internet, phone and TV services are the technology provided to homes and businesses. Fiber optic wire contains a few to hundreds of optical fibers within a plastic case. They transfer data signals in the form of light and travel hundreds of miles faster than those used in traditional electrical cables. Since fiber-optic cables are non-metallic, they are not affected by weather that can reduce speed of transmission.

What is fiber optic network?

There are several types of fiber optics but it is connected to a network hub allowing it to curb near your home or straight to your home to provide a fiber-optic internet connection. The fastest type of fiber network is Fiber to the Home or Fiber to the Premises because it’s a 100% fiber optic connection with optical fiber cables installed to terminals directly connected to houses, apartment buildings and businesses.

Types of fiber optics

  • Single mode fiber

    It is used for long-distance information transformation. Since it has small diameter there is less possibility of reduction in signal strength. The small end of the fiber converts light to a single beam and focuses it to a direct route and this way it travel long distance. These fibers are much more expensive because it involves precious calculation to produce lights in small opening.

  • Multi mode optics

    it has a larger core opening i.e it has a larger diameter that bounces and reflects throughout the path, allowing transmission to a shorter distance. Since it has a larger diameter, multiple light beams can be sent at a time and in this way it helps in more data transmission. Signal loss interference and reduction are more in this type. An LED is an example of multi mode fiber optics.

Optical fibers can be used in multiple fields. Some of them are mentioned below

  • Telecommunication field
  • In space application
  • Broadband application
  • Computer applications industrial applications
  • Mining application
  • In medical applications
  • Military application

Application of optical fiber in communication

  • Optical fiber is mostly used in communication
  • It is used in Wi-Fi router, landline phone and server connector
  • A single optical fiber can carry over 3,000,000 full duplex voice calls or 90,000 TV channels.

Application of fiber optics in medicine

  • Fiber optics has been used in medical field for years. The physical characteristics of fiber make it natural choice for many different applications
  • Fiber optics provide a very compact, flexible conduit for light or data delivery in equipment, surgical and instrumental application

Advantages of optical fibers

  • Able to carry significantly more signals than wires

  • Faster data transmission

  • Less susceptible to noise from other devices

  • Better security for signals during transmission

  • Smaller physical size

  • Lower loss

  • Immunity to crosstalk

  • Greater bandwidth than copper

  • Electrical isolation

  • Ruggedness and flexibility

  • System reliability and ease of maintenance

Disadvantages of fiber optic cable

  • Costs more than twisted pair and coaxial cable

  • Can be difficult to install and modify

  • More expensive over shorter distance

  • It is delicate so need to be handled carefully

  • Communication is not totally in optical domain

  • Tapping is not possible. Different specialized equipment is needed to tap a fiber

  • Optical fiber splicing is a specialized technique and needs expertly trained manpower

  • A small bend on optical fiber causes radiation loss

  • The fault localization is somewhat difficult


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