A Simple Introduction of Fiber Optic Technology

Posted on by FS.COM

Optical fibers are made of extremely pure optical glass. We think of a glass window as transparent, but the thicker the glass gets, the less transparent it becomes due to impurities in the glass. However, the glass in an optical fiber has far fewer impurities than window-pane glass. One company’s description of the quality of glass is as follows: If you were on top of an ocean that is miles of solid core optical fiber glass, you could see the bottom clearly.

Understanding how fiber optics are made and function for uses in everyday life is an interesting work of art combined with science. Fiber optics have been fabricated from material that transmit light and are made from a bundle of very thin glass or plastic fibers enclosed in a tube. One end is at a source of light and the other end is a camera lens, used to channel light and images around the bends and corners. Fiber optics have a highly transparent core of glass, or plastic encircled by a covering called “cladding”. Light is stimulated through a source on one end of the fiber optic and as the light travels through the tube, the cladding is there to keep it all inside. A bundle of fiber optics may be bent or twisted without distorting the image, as the cladding is designed to reflect these lighting images from inside the surface. This fiber optic light source can carry light over mass distances, ranging from a few inches to over 100 miles.

There are two types of fiber optical, Single-mode fibers and Multi-mode fibers. Single-mode fibers have small cores (about 3.5 x 10-4 inches or 9 microns in diameter) and transmit infrared laser light (wavelength = 1,300 to 1,550 nanometers). Multi-mode fibers have larger cores (about 2.5 x 10-3 inches or 62.5 microns in diameter) and transmit infrared light (wavelength = 850 to 1,300 nm) from light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Fiber optics most common and widely used in communication systems, fiber optic communication systems have a variety of features that make it superior to the systems that use the traditional copper cables. The use of fiber optics with these systems use a larger information-carrying capacity where they are not hassled with electrical interference and require fewer amplifiers then the copper cable systems. Fiber optic communication systems are installed in large networks of fiber optic bundles all around the world and even under the oceans. Many fiber optic testers are available to provide you with the best fiber optic equipment.

In fiber optic communication systems, lasers are used to transmit messages in numeric code by flashing on and off at high speeds. This code can constitute a voice or an electronic file containing, text, numbers, or illustrations, all by using fiber optics. The light from many lasers are added together onto a single fiber optic enabling thousands of currents of data to pass through a single fiber optic cable at one time. This data will travel through the fiber optics and into interpreting devices to convert the messages back into the form of its original signals.

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