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Fiber Optics – a type of transmission media?

– Fiber Optics is the fastest growing transmission media in the field of communication.
– An optical fiber is a fiber made up of transparent glass material called silica or sometimes plastic and is quite flexible.
– An optical fiber has a thickness somewhat more than a human hair.
– It is known to serve various purposes such as a light pipe (for transmission of light between two fiber ends.) or as a wave guide.
– Fiber optics is nothing but application and engineering of the optical fibers.
– Optical fibers are the vital component of the fiber optic communications.
– Fiber optics communications has proved to be successful in transmitting information over very long distances and at high data rates.
– This means that the bandwidth offered by the optical fibers is too high when compared to the other types of transmission media.

Why to use optical fibers in place of the metal fibers?

– This is because the signal has to suffer less attenuation while travelling in optical fibers as compared to the metal fibers.
– Also, the optical fibers have a very high immunity to the interference caused by the electromagnetic fields.
– Illumination is another application of these fibers.
– Many fibers are wrapped in to a bundle so that they can transmit an image.
– Because of this, images can be viewed in a very confined space.
– There are some applications such as the fiber lasers and sensors for which the optical fibers are designed specially.
– A transparent cladding substance surrounds the transparent core of the optical fiber.
– This cladding has a refractive index lower from that of the core.
– Total internal reflection is the phenomenon by which the light is kept inside the core of the fiber.
– Thus, the fiber can act as a wave guide too.
– Today multimode fibers have been developed that are capable of supporting the transverse modes or the multiple propagation paths.
– Fibers supporting only one propagation path or mode are known as the single-mode fibers.
– The MMFs come with a diameter larger than that of the SMFs.
– Also, MMFs can be used for short communication links and where the power requirement is high.
– On the other hand, the SMFs can transmit over communication links over 1050 meters.
– The biggest problem in fiber optics is joining the two optical fibers which is very complex when compared to the wires.
– The ends of the optical fibers have to be cleaved together very carefully and then spliced.
– Splicing can be done either by fusing using heat or mechanically.
– Optical fibers serve as an efficient medium in computer networking and telecommunication because of their high flexibility.
– It is very easy to make them in to bundles.
– They offer many advantages when used in long distance communications since the attenuation is very less.
– Repeaters are used along their length to span the whole distance.
– Many independent channels can be carried by the fibers using the wavelength division multiplexing technology.
– For applications of short distance ranges such as an office building, optical fibers can be a major space saver.
– This is because just one fiber can carry a much larger amount of data when compared to many electrical cables.
– Further, in fiber optics there is no complain regarding the cross-talk between the fibers and also they do not pick up noise from the environment.
– The optical fibers provide a good solution for the protection of equipment in environments where is a danger from high voltages as in power generation house.
– There is no danger in using them in the presence of explosive fumes.
– Fiber tapping is very difficult when compared to the wire tapping.
– Optical fibers also have an application in the field of remote sensing.

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