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A Brief Overview of Fiber Optic System

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Fiber optics system, also known as optical fiber, is a flexible, transparent strand of micro diameter glass-drawn strands. Depending on the application, fiber optic strands can be made of plastic or glass (silica).

The optical fiber diameter is typically slightly thicker than a human hair, with a maximum diameter of 100 microns. Essentially, optical fiber technology is the transmission of light through these thin strands of optical fiber.

Multiple optical fibers are bundled together to form a fiber optic cable for signal transmission in this technology. In fiber optic technology, data is transmitted in the form of light rays. The light signals are encoded with data.

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Fiber Optic Cable Types

Fiber optic system cables are classified into several types based on their construction, function, and number of strands. The classification of optical fibers is as follows.

1. Depending on the function

There are two main types of optical fiber based on their function or mode of transmission. The mode is essentially the path that the light beam takes. According to function or mode of transmission, there are two types of optical fiber.

Fiber Optic Single-Mode Cables: The single-mode fiber optic cable, as the name implies, has only one mode of transmission. It usually only has one optical strand through which the light beam travels.

Single-mode optical fiber has a relatively small core diameter ranging from 8.3 to 10 microns. The transmission speed of this type of optical fiber is greater than 1310nm to 1550nm. There are two more types of single-mode fiber, which are described below.

Multi-Mode Fiber Optic Cables: A multi-mode fiber optic cable has a 10-times larger core than a single-mode fiber optic cable. This fiber optic cable allows for multi-mode transmission through the core.

This means that light waves can only travel in a few different directions through the core. Multimode fiber optic cables are used for short-distance data transmission, such as linking two networking devices.

2. Number of Fiber Strands

The capability of a fiber optic cable varies depending on the number of strands, so the following are the types based on the number of strands.

Simplex Fiber Optics Cables: Simplex fiber optics cables allow data to be transmitted in only one direction.

Duplex Fiber Optics Cables: Duplex fiber optic cables are two-stranded fiber optic cables that allow bidirectional communication. A transmitter and a receiver are interchangeable in this case.

The cable allows bi-directional transmission while in full-duplex mode. Bidirectional transmission is possible in half-duplex mode, but at a different time span.

3. Construction

The following multi-mode fiber optics cables are found based on constructional design.

Loose Tube Fiber Optic Cables: A plastic buffer tube houses the fiber optic system cable in this type. To prevent water intrusion, the gel material is filled between the internal diameter or buffer tube and the outer diameter of the cable jacket.

To create an anti-buckling structure, the buffer tube is then stranded with a dielectric material. These cables are appropriate for both outdoor and underground applications.

Tight-Buffered Fiber Optic Cables: There is no space between the buffer tube and the fiber optic system strand in this type. Because of the direct contact, this cable can be used for plenum connections in the presence of air media or for connecting outside equipment.

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