Written by Veronika Vigliano

Uses of Fiber Optic Cables

Uses of Fiber Optic Cables

Optical fiber, therefore, can be described as the medium and the technology that is associated with the transmission of information as light pulses along a glass or rather a plastic strand. However, a fiber optic cable then can also contain a varying number of such glass fibers and that is from a few to more. Furthermore, surrounding the glass fiber core is another glass layer which is described as cladding. A layer which is better known as a buffer tube protects the cladding, and also a jacket layer that acts as the final protective layer for the individual strand.

How it works

The Fiber optics then transmit data in the form of light particles, that pulse through a fiber optic cable. Therefore, the glass fiber core and the cladding each possess a different refractive index that bends incoming light at a certain angle. However, when light signals are sent through the fiber optic cable, they tend to reflect off the core and cladding in a series of zig-zag bounces, and adhering to a process that is known as total internal reflection. The light signals, however, do not travel at the speed of light – and this is because of the denser glass layers, rather traveling about 30% slower than the speed of light. To boost the signal throughout its journey, the fiber optic transmission sometimes requires repeaters at distant intervals to regenerate the optical signal by converting it to an electrical signal, thereby processing that an electrical signal and retransmitting the optical signal.

From the above, fiber optic cables find many uses in a wide variety of industries and applications. Some uses of fiber optic cables are described below;

Medical

It is used as light guides, imaging tools and also as lasers for surgeries.

Defense/Government

It is used as hydrophones for seismic and sonar purposes, as wiring in aircraft, submarines and other vehicles and as well as for field networking.

Data Storage

It can be used for data transmission.

Telecommunications

Fiber is laid and used for transmitting and receiving purposes.

Networking

It can be used to connect users and servers in different network settings and can also help increase the speed and accuracy of data transmission.

Industrial/Commercial

It is also used for imaging in difficult to reach areas viz a viz as wiring where EMI is an issue, or as a sensory device used to make temperature, pressure and other measurements, as wiring in automobiles and in industrial settings.

Broadcast/CATV

It is no news that broadcast and cable companies are making use of fiber optic cables for wiring CATV, HDTV, internet, video on-demand and other applications.

Fiber optic cables can be used for lighting as well as imaging and sensors to measure and monitor a vast array of variables. They can also be used in research and development as well as testing across all the above-mentioned industries.

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