WHAT IS FIBER OPTIC TECHNOLOGY?

ANSWERING QUESTIONS YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT FIBER OPTICS

WHAT ARE FIBER OPTICS AND OPTICAL CABLES?

Long, thin of glass carefully drawn in to strands approximately the diameter of a human hair are known as fiber optics, or optical fibers. The process of taking optical fibers and arranging them into strategic bundles produces optical cables. The cables are then used as a reliable transmitter of light signals over long distances.

The transmitted light signals are encoded with data. Therefore, optical fiber transmits data via light to receiving end where it is decoded.

QUICK HISTORY OF FIBER OPTICS

The Romans were first known people to draw glass into fibers, then in the 1790s the French Chappe Brothers the first optical telegraph. Many advancements were made up until the 1920s when John Logie Baird patented the idea of using arrays of transparent rods to transmit images for television and Clarence W. Hansell did the same for facsimiles.

Further strides and advancements led to the first live telephone traffic through fiber optics in Long Beach, California, in 1977. Telephone companies began to use fibers extensively to rebuild their communications infrastructure and Sprint was born creating the first nationwide, 100 percent digital, fiber-optic network in the mid-1980s.

The first all-optic fiber cable, TPC-5, that uses optical amplifiers was laid across the Pacific Ocean in 1996. The following year the Fiber Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) became the longest single-cable network in the world and provided the infrastructure for the next generation of Internet applications.

HOW DO FIBER OPTICS WORK?

Light or light particles (photons) travel through a fiber optic cable by repeatedly bouncing off the inside of the cable. The transmission is assisted by the glass structure of the core or middle of the cable. Cladding is used to keep the light signals inside the core.

TYPES OF FIBER OPTIC CABLES

Single Mode Fiber – The simplest structure containing a very thin core, and all signals travel straight down the middle without bouncing off the edges.

Multimode Fiber – 10 times larger than single mode fiber. Typically used as patch cords or “jumpers” to interconnect data equipment including interconnecting computer networks.

Plenum – Cables designed to comply with industry standard requirements for installation in air plenums.

Simplex Optical Fiber – Single strand of glass used where only a single transmit and/or receive line is required between devices or when a multiplex data signal is used (bi-directional communication over a single fiber).

Duplex Optical Fiber – Contains two strands of glass

USES OF OPTICAL FIBER IN OUR DAILY LIFE

Thousands of miles of installed fiber optic cable transmit countless types of information underground, in tunnels, building walls, ceilings, and other places not noticeable. Examples of daily life applications for optical fiber:

• computer networking
• broadcasting
• medical scanning
• military equipment

Initially, fiber optic uses were primarily trunk cable lines designed to carry signals to larger populated areas. Over time, theses cables have extended their reach to the home, the building, etc., giving rise to the FTTX trend.

Learn more about Optical Fiber by contacting EESI Sales at (972)529-0923 or contact us via our online form.

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