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What is fiber optic cable: definition and explanation

What is fiber optic cable definition and explanation
What is fiber optic cable definition and explanation?

What is optical fiber?

What is optical fiber? We are accustomed to the concept of transferring knowledge in many ways. A wire cable carries the sounds from our speech to a socket on the wall and is carried by another cable at the nearby telephone junction, where we talk into a single landline telephone. Smart devices work in a certain way: they send and receive information on invisible radio waves — a technology called wireless because it doesn't use wires. Optical fiber is the third method. It transmits the encoded information into a beam of light through a plastic or glass tube. It was originally designed to allow doctors to see the human body inside endoscopes in the 1950s without having to open it first.

It is a fiber made of glass with a high degree of purity and what is known as melted quartz (silicon dioxide (SiO2), or it is made of polymer, and its thickness reaches an extent similar to the thickness of a human hair. An optical cable is a group of optical fibers arranged in a manner Packets. It is part of communication networks, wired communications, and wireless communications.


Optical fiber technology

Fiber optic cable consists of incredibly thin glass or plastic fibers known as an optical fiber, optical core, or optical fiber strand; A single fiber optic cable may contain at least two or three optical fiber cores. Each core is less than ten times the width of a human hair and can accommodate about 25,000 phone calls, meaning several million phone calls can easily be received by a full fiber optic cable. The latest fiber optic record (shown below) is 178 terabits per second, enough for 100 million Zoom sessions.

Fiber optic cables are used with full beam optical technology to bring information and data between two locations. Suppose you had to transmit details across the streets using optical fiber from your device to a relative's house. You can connect your computer to a laser that converts electrical data from your computer into a series of optical pulses. Then you can drop the fiber optic cable with the laser. Light rays will appear at the other end after the cable descends. Your friend must have a photocell to convert light signals back into details that his device can recognize. The whole unit, then, would be like a very stylish, high-tech kind of phone that you could make from two cooked cases and a length of string.

How does optical fiber work?

  1. Fiber optic cables are good enough to bend and even pick up light signals for curved paths. Artwork: Total internal reflection ensures that light rays flow into the fiber optic wire.
  2. Light flows through a fiber optic cable that repeatedly reflects the walls. Like a sled, any small photon (particle of light) bounces off the tube. Now you might imagine a beam of light spilling from the sides of a clear glass tube. ((Technically speaking, the cladding has a lower refractive index)

What are the components of optical fiber?

One optical fiber consists of three layers.

  • The first layer: Is called the core: It is the main active area of the fiber parts and is made of glass of very high purity (melted quartz or what is known as silica (SiO2). It is characterized by having a large refractive index n. It also represents the path through which light travels). Coefficient Refraction of a medium is the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to its speed in this medium. It is a parameter that shows the extent to which a substance is affected by electromagnetic waves.
  • The second layer is cladding: which is the secondary active area of the fiber parts and is made of glass, but with a refractive index n that differs from the refractive index of the glass from which the core is made, so its value is slightly lower. This is the result of impurity of the glass material through other materials such as germanium (Ge), and this change The technology in refractive indexes ensures that the phenomenon of Total Internal Reflection (TIR) occurs, which constantly reflects the light to remain inside the glass core, which is the basis for the operation of optical fibers.
  • The third layer: Buffer Coating: Is a plastic cover that protects the two layers of the core and the cladding. Cladding

What are the types of optical fibers?

Optical fibers are divided into more than one type, depending on the standard used for the division process

According to the change in the refractive index through the core of the optical fiber, the fibers are divided into.

  1. Step Index Fibers: where the refractive index is a constant value throughout the core of the fiber.
  2. Graded Index Fibers: where the refractive index changes gradually within the fiber core area

According to the number of modes spread through the optical fiber, it is divided into:

  1. Multimode Fibers: where more than one mode is spread and is characterized by the diameter of the fiber core ranging from 50 to 60 micrometers.
  2. Single Mode Fibers: Where only one mode is propagated and is characterized by the diameter of the fiber core ranging from 8 to 10 micrometers.

Applications and uses of optical fibers

The application and use of optical fibers began in the early eighties, when their use spread widely and in all countries of the world, as millions of kilometers of these fiber lines were installed.

The most important areas of application of optical fibers at the present time are:

  1. Long-distance communication lines
  2. Local telephone networks
  3. Television broadcasting via optical cable
  4. Internet and data transfer
  5. Military communications
  6. Medicine, as it is used in the field of laparoscopic surgeries and diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy

Sensors and sensors: Optical fibers can be used in the field of sensors to measure stress, temperature, pressure, and other factors. The optical sensor emits, receives, and converts light energy into an electrical signal. The reason for using fibers in the field of sensors is that they are a typical transmission medium for information in terms of the accuracy of information delivery, speed of transmission, and lightweight.

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