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The History Of The Fibre Optic Cable

May 29, 2008
Fibre optic cables have been one of the most revolutionary developments in the modern world. They have lead to the development of the internet into the monster it has now become and to say that it has had a profound effect on the lives of millions of people is no overstatement. The fundamental aspect of the fibre optic cable is that it incorporates technologies so that light can be passed through optical cables and transfer data over long distances and quickly.

These cables have been developed using expertise from a number of different academic disciplines but is fundamentally a mixture of applied science and engineering . scientific discoveries lead the way for engineers to develop the theories into a practical device that has now been applied to a number of different data transfer situations. There are a wide range of benefits to the fibre optic cable over the previously popular wire cable. Firstly the fibre optic cable does not experience electromagnetic interference and they do not experience as much loss as metal wires.

Further to this they are able to transfer more data over a longer distance at a quicker pace.
The fibre optic cable is used in a vast range of different scenarios. The fibre optic cable is used in sensors and in communications. The core of the fibre optic cable contains light that through the process of total internal reflection is channelled through the cable and this light can be interpreted at either end of the cable into data that is useful to the application.

This is a complex process that simply put involves bouncing light along the cable in such a way that the signal it delivers is easy to read. The optical fibre inside the cable acts as a waveguide to the light signal and the way in which the light makes its way down the cable plays a role in the signals that is delivered at the end.

There are a wide variety of different types of fibre optic cable each of which support what are known as different propagation paths. These different types of cable are generally differentiated as multimode fibres (MMF) which include a number of different fibres and mode paths or single mode fibres (SMF) which support a singular fibre and subsequently mode path.

The multimode fibres are typically used in the communications industry. They can be extended over a distance of up to 200 metres whilst single mode fibres can usually be extended over distances longer than 200 metres. Multimode fibres are therefore used when higher levels of power need to be transmitted.

Connecting fibre optic cables to one another or to an application can cause troubles as the connections are often very complex. The reason that these cables are harder to connect is that they need to be split very carefully and reattached with precision so as not to damage the transfer of light information. The precision required can make it problematic.

If they are not spliced effectively then the cables cannot be re fused together well enough to form an electrical arc and the transmission will fail. The main way of improving on this problem is that special connectors make connecting cables much more effective and can make it easier to disconnect cables.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has been involved in the networking equipment and fibre optic industry for several years.
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