Optical Fibre

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Data communications sometimes are slow.often information gets leaked.Or may even get tapped! Data often is lost while being transferred from one place to another between components.Presence of noise leads to reduction of clarity of video on TV sets.There is a solution which eliminates many of these problems. The solution is optical fibre cable communication. Due to its speed,data securing capacity and lesser distortion of signals it is widely used means of communication. Demand of OPTICAL FIBRE communications are increasing rapidly. the working of optical fibre,its advantages and disadvantages,arenas of applications are described in this project.

An optical fiber (or optical fibre) is a flexible, transparent fiber made by drawing glass (silica) or plastic to a diameter slightly thicker than that of a human hair.[1] Optical fibers are used most often as a means to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber and find wide usage in fiber-optic communications, where they permit transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data rates) than wire cables. Fibers are used instead of metal wires because signals travel along them with lesser amounts of loss; in addition, fibers are also immune to electromagnetic interference, a problem from which metal wires suffer excessively. Fibers are also used for illumination, and are wrapped in bundles so that they may be used to carry images, thus allowing viewing in confined spaces, as in the case of a fiberscope.[4] Specially designed fibers are also used for a variety of other applications, some of them being fiber optic sensors and fiber lasers.

Optical fibers typically include a transparent core surrounded by a transparent cladding material with a lower index of refraction. Light is kept in the core by the phenomenon of total internal reflection which causes the fiber to act as a waveguide. Fibers that support many propagation paths or transverse modes are called multi-mode fibers (MMF), while those that support a single mode are called single-mode fibers (SMF). Multi-mode fibers generally have a wider core diameter and are used for short-distance communication links and for applications where high power must be transmitted.[ Single-mode fibers are used for most communication links longer than 1,000 meters (3,300 ft).

An important aspect of a fiber optic communication is that of extension of the fiber optic cables such that the losses brought about by joining two different cables is kept to a minimum. Joining lengths of optical fiber often proves to be more complex than joining electrical wire or cable and involves careful cleaving of the fibers, perfect alignment of the fiber cores, and the splicing of these aligned fiber cores. For applications that demand a permanent connection a mechanical splice which holds the ends of the fibers together mechanically could be used or a fusion splice that uses heat to fuse the ends of the fibers together could be used. Temporary or semi-permanent connections are made by means of specialized optical fiber connectors.

Advantage of optical fiber communication - although fiber optics can solve data communications problems, they are not needed everywhere. Most computer data goes over ordinary wires. Most data is sent over short distances at low speed. In ordinary environments, it is not practical to use fiber optics to transmit data between personal computers and printers as it's too costly. Electromagnetic Interference is a common type of noise that originates with one of the basic properties of electromagnetism. Magnetic field lines generate an electrical current as they cut across conductors. The flow of electrons in a conductor generates a magnetic field that changes with the current flow. Electromagnetic Interference does occur in coaxial cables, since current does cut across the conductor. Fiber optics are immune to this EMI since signals are transmitted as light instead of current. Thus, they can carry signals through places where EMI would block transmission.

Data Security

Magnetic fields and current induction work in two ways. They don't just generate noise in signal carrying conductors; they also let the information on the conductor to be leaked out. Fluctuations in the induced magnetic field outside a conductor carry the same information as the current passing through the conductor. Shielding the wire, as in coaxial cables can reduce the problem, but sometimes shielding can allow enough signal leak to allow tapping, which is exactly what we wouldn't want.

There are no radiated magnetic fields around optical fibers; the electromagnetic fields are confined within the fiber. That makes it impossible to tap the signal being transmitted through a fiber without cutting into the fiber. Since fiber optics do not radiate electromagnetic energy, emissions cannot be intercepted and physically tapping the fiber takes great skill to do undetected. Thus, the fiber is the most secure medium available for carrying sensitive data.

High Bandwidth Over Long Distances

Fiber optics have a large capacity to carry high speed signals over longer distances without repeaters than other types of cables. The information carrying capacity increases with frequency. This however, doesn't mean that optical fiber has infinit bandwidth, but it's certainly greater than coaxial cables. Generally, coaxial cables have a bandwidth parameter of a few MHz/km, where else the fiber optic cable has a bandwidth of 400MHz/km. (These figures are just approximations and do vary from cable to cable!) This is an important factor that leads to the choice of fiber for data communications. Fiber can be added to a wire network so it can reach terminals outside its normal ras nge.

Eliminating Spark Hazards

In some cases, transmitting signals electrically can be extremely dangerous. Most electric potentials create small sparks. The sparks ordinarily pose no danger, but can be really bad in a chemical plant or oil refinery where the air is contaminated with potentially explosive vapours. One tiny spark can create a big explosion. potential spark hazards seriously hinder data and communication in such facilities. Fiber optic cables do not produce sparks since they do not carry current.

Ease Of Installation

Increasing transmission capacity of wire cables generally makes them thicker and more rigid. Such thick cables can be difficult to install in existing buildings where they must go through walls and cable ducts. Fiber cables are easier to install since they are smaller and more flexible. They can also run along the same routes as electric cables without picking up excessive noise.

One way to simplify installation in existing buildings is to run cables through ventilation ducts. However, fire codes require that such plenum cables be made of costly fire retardant materials that emit little smoke. The advantage of fiber types is that they are smaller and hence require less of the costly fire retardant materials. The small size, lightweight and flexibility of fiber optic cables also make them easier to be used in temporary or portable installations.

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