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Complicated Fiber Optic Terminologies Are No Longer Complicated

Complicated Fiber Optic Terminologies Are No Longer Complicated

Fiber optics is a technology that uses glass or plastic threads, namely fibers to transmit data. With its advantages over copper network, fiber optic lines have revolutionized long-distance phone calls, cable TV and the Internet. However, to many newbies of this industry or amateur of fiber optics, there are many terminologies that should be known before their learning journey. These terminologies are complicated and even dull which are hard to remember or understand. Don’t worry. Just reading this paper, you may find that it’s more easier to remember those complicated fiber optic terminologies than you think.

Now, let’s begin with fibers.
fiberOptical Fiber: Thin strands of highly transparent glass or sometimes plastic that guide light.
Core: The center of the fiber where the light is transmitted.
Cladding: The outside optical layer of the fiber that traps the light in the core and guides it along – even through curves. This layer is never stripped off the fiber.
Buffer coating or primary coating: A hard plastic or acrylic coating on the outside of the fiber that protects the glass from moisture or physical damage.
Mode: A single electromagnetic field pattern (think of a ray of light) that travels in fiber.
Multimode fiber: has a bigger core (almost always 62.5 microns – a micron is one one-millionth of a meter – but sometimes 50 microns) and is used with LED sources at wavelengths of 850 and 1300 nm for short distance, lower speed networks like LANs (Local Area Networks).
Single-mode fiber: has a much smaller core, only about 9 microns, and is used for telephony and CATV (Cable TV) with laser sources at 1300 and 1550 nm. It can go very long distances at very high speeds but with higher cost.
Note: Both multimode and singlemode fiber have an outside diameter of 125 microns – about 5 thousandths of an inch – just slightly larger than a human hair.

Plastic optical fiber (POF): POF is a large core (about 1mm) multimode fiber that can be used for short, low speed networks.

When we talking about fiber optic cables structure, these terms you should know:
fiber_cableCable: Cables have from one to hundreds of fibers inside. Because we rarely use the bare fibers in reality. Fibers needs protection to survive all the places it gets installed and it’s the cable that provides it.
Jacket: A protective outer covering of cable. Depending on the intended use for the cable and the operational environment, it may protect against moisture, abrasion, magnetic fields, radiation, and so on. Some cables have more than one jacket which is also called cable sheath. Jacket materials can be various, such as PVC, LSZH, plenum (OFNP) etc.
Strength Members: A strength member is an added component to a jacketed cable to help preserve the integrity and prevent separation in the mated ferrules. In most instances it is Kevlar Aramid Yarn, but can also be a flexible, but stiff fiberglass rod that runs the length of the cable.
Armor: A protective covering of cables that is used to discourage rodents from chewing through it.
LSZH: Low smoke zero halogen, is a material classification typically used for cable jacketing in the wire and cable industry.
OFNP Cables: OFNP stands for Optical Fiber Nonconductive Plenum. OFNP cables have fire-resistance and low smoke production characteristics. They can be installed in ducts, plenums and other spaces used for building airflow. This is the highest fire rating fiber cable and no other cable types can be used as substitutes.
OFNR Cables: OFNR stands for Optical Fiber Nonconductive Riser. OFNR cables are used in Riser areas which are building vertical shafts or runs from one floor to another floor. OFNR cables can not be installed in plenum areas since they do not have the required fire and smoking rating as Plenum rated cables. OFNP plenum cables can be used as substitutes for OFNR cables.

Fiber termination is an important part of fiber optic cabling. The following terms you should know in this part of work.
fiber_optic_terminationConnector: A non-permanent device for connecting two fibers or fibers to equipment where they are expected to be disconnected occasionally for testing or rerouting. It also provides protection to both fibers. (Parts for an ST connector are shown.)
Ferrule: A tube that holds a fiber for alignment, usually part of a connector.
Splice: a permanent joint between two fibers.
Mechanical Splice: A splice where the fibers are aligned and joined by a mechanical splice device.
Fusion Splice: A splice created by welding or fusing two fibers together.
Cable Management: Terminations and Splices require some hardware for protection and management: patch panels, splice closures, ODF (optical distribution frame), FTB (fiber termination box) etc.

Some specifications we should know in order to better understand the fiber performance, including:
fiber performanceAttenuation: The reduction in optical power as it passes along a fiber, usually expressed in decibels (dB).
Bandwidth: The range of signal frequencies or bit rate within which a fiber optic component, link or network will operate.
Decibels (dB): A unit of measurement of optical power, which indicates relative power. A -10 dB means a reduction in power by 10 times, -20 dB means another 10 times or 10 times overall, -30 means another 10 times or 1000 times overall and so on.

  • dB: Optical power referenced an arbitrary zero level.
  • dBm: Optical power referenced to 1 milliwatt.

Micron (um): A unit of measure used to measure wavelength of light.
Nanometer (nm): A unit of measure used to measure the wavelength of light (meaning one one-billionth of a meter).
Optical Loss: The amount of optical power lost as light is transmitted through fiber, splices, couplers, etc, expressed in dB.
Optical Power: is measured in “dBm”, or decibels referenced to one milliwatt of power. while loss is a relative reading, optical power is an absolute measurement, referenced to standards. You measure absolute power to test transmitters or receivers and relative power to test loss.
Absorption: Absorption occurs in several specific wavelengths called water bands due to the absorption by minute amounts of water vapor in the glass.
Scattering: The change of direction of light after striking small particles that causes loss in optical fibers and is used to make measurements by an OTDR
Wavelength: A term for the color of light, usually expressed in nanometers (nm) or microns (m). Fiber is mostly used in the infrared region where the light is invisible to the human eye.

We will need some tools for installation and termination. Generally, they are:
toolkitsJacket Slitter or Stripper: A stripper for removing the heavy outside jacket of cables.
Fiber Stripper: A precise stripper used to remove the buffer coating from the fiber for termination, connectorization or splicing.
Cleaver: A tool that precisely “breaks” the fiber to produce a flat end for connectorization or splicing when polishing is NOT required.
Scribe: A hard, sharp tool that scratches and cleaves the fiber as it exits the tip of the connector user to sever or break the fiber prior to polishing.
Polishing Puck: for connectors that require polishing, the puck holds the connector in proper alignment to the polishing film.
Polishing Film: Fine grit film used to polish the end of the connector ferrule and the fiber endface.
Crimper: A tool that crimps the connector to the aramid fibers in the cable to add mechanical strength.
Fusion Splicer: Also called fusion splicing machine, an instrument that splices fibers by fusing or welding them, typically by electrical arc.
Cleaner: A professional cleaning kit for optical fiber ends and connectors, which can do great help in reducing light signal return loss.
Microscope: used to inspect the end surface of a connector for flaws or dirt.

When we finished the installation, fiber testing is an very necessary part. Commonly used fiber testers include:
OTDROptical Power Meter: An instrument that measures optical power from the end of a fiber.
Optical Light Source: An instrument that uses a laser or LED to send an optical signal into fiber for testing loss of the fiber.
Optical Loss Test Set (OLTS): A measurement instrument for optical loss that includes both a meter and source.
Loopback: short, single fiber cables with connectors on both ends, used to test unknown cables.
Mating Adapter: also called splice bushing or couplers, allow two cables with connectors to mate.
Visual Fault Locator: A device that allows visual tracing and testing of continuity.
Fiber Identifiers & Talk Set: It is essential installation and maintenance instrument in data networks, CATV and telecommunication networks. Fiber identifier can identify the optical fiber by detecting the optical signals transmitted through the cables. Talk Set combines in one set the functions of both a digital optical phone and a stabilized light source. It is usually used in pairs, and can work over 80km.
OTDR: An instrument that uses backscattered light to find faults in optical fiber and infer loss from only one end of the cable.

It may not include entire terms, welcome friends to add more about this.



In contrast to the standard standard copper coaxial cables, fiber optic cable is a new and advanced method utilized in modern telecommunication and data transmission networking applications. Fiber optic cables are made up of transparent glass or plastic fiber which permit light to become guided in one end to the other with minimal loss.

Fiber optic cable has obvious advantages over copper cable with regards to transmission efficiency, capacity, material cost and even environmental friendliness. Listed here are the detailed top seven reasons to opt fiber optic cable versus copper cable.

No.1 – Great Transmission Capacity
In contrast to traditional copper, working frequency of fiber optic is 8-9 orders of magnitude higher, which work a larger carring capacity. Fiber optic cable is capable of carrying much more data than copper. Besides, additionally, it may carry the information for much more distances. For example, a fiber optic can certainly transmit an indication so far as 80 km or more without resorting to amplification.

No.2 – More Transmission Efficiency
In comparison, fiber optic cables can transmit a lot more information, with a greater amount of fidelity. Fiber links offer over one thousand times as much bandwidth over distances more than one hundred times beyond copper. For instance, downloading a 2 GB movie over a typical Fast Ethernet connection (100 Mbps) would take almost 22 minutes. While, downloading the same movie over GPON with fiber cabling, also it would just take about 2 minutes. By providing quicker use of volumes of data which will empower end-users to be easier.

No.3 – Energy Saving And Environmental Friendly
The equipment employed for a GPON fiber optic implementation is usually about 50% more energy-efficient than the traditional networking equipment present in a IDF/Telco closet. This reduction in energy consumption for the IT network does mean there’s a huge reduction in the quantity of Greenhouse Gas emitted in to the atmosphere.

No.4 – Free of Interference
Unlike electrical cables which conduct with electricity, fiber optic cables are glass-based carring light signals. This eliminates the requirement for grounding and means they are immune to any type of electrical interference – even lightning. Taking the benefits of potential to deal with interference and atmospheric conditions, outdoor fiber optic cables may be used outdoors as well as closeness to electrical cables without concern.

No.5 – More Data Secured
Aside from interference-free, class fibers may also work well in roughing conditions. We know, copper cabling is sensitive to water and chemicals, class fiber cabling runs nearly no risk of being damaged by harsher elements. Fiber Optic cables can certainly endure living environment that coaxial cable just cannot, for example being buried with soil, or in close proximity to chemicals. Besides, as it is also far more difficult to tap, fiber cabling would offers extra security for the data being transmitted.

No.6 – Easy Handling And Installation
Fiber optic cables are much lighter and smaller as compared to copper-based cables, which make it quicker to handle and require less time and effort to set up. Additionally, the carriers would never get shocked when the fiber optic cables are break as the electrical coaxial cables do. Since fiber cabling transmits light and not electricity, the folks handling it run no risk of injury from fire, sparking or electrocution.

No.7 – Cost Effective
Using the growth and development of fiber optic technology, fiber optic cable is no longer always regarded as too fragile or expensive for the deployed for general applications, by contract, it has gets to be more simpler to work with and install. With various cable metal material price rising around the present market, while optic fiber has declined and the manufacturing processes are also improving, that has created an essential prerequisite for the quick development of optical communication.

FiberStore, the best fiber optic cable supplier from China, can provide all kinds of fiber optic cables including glass optical fiber and plastic optical fiber. Whether single-mode and multimode(OM3, OM4), or simplex and duplex, outdoor and indoor cables are all available.

NASA and Astro Technology collaborate to Develop Offshore Fiber-Optic Tehnology

NASA and Astro Technology collaborate to Develop Offshore Fiber-Optic Tehnology

It is recorded that the Houston-based Astro Technology Inc. and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has cooperated and developed a new fiber optic monitoring system this year on two oil platforms offshore West Africa.

The new system Tendon Tension Monitoring System (TTMS) utilizes a fiber optic strain gauge system and a series of sensor clamps to measure the tension on subsea risers and pipelines. It is installed in March on two platforms at the Okume complex for Hess Corporation’s subsidiary Hess-Equatorial Guinea.

According to Nasa, the system can sense any stresses along the platform’s four legs and streams the data in real time, allowing operators to make alterations required to maintain platform’s stability.

During the offshore research, the team attached 16 clamps to two separate drill platforms by commercial divers, using fiber optic cables to send real-time data streaming to a control room on each drill platform.

Astro Technology is specialized in instrumentation and monitoring technologies with a focus on real-time fiber optic sensory systems for oil and gas, has successfully used fiber optic monitoring systems at depths of up to 7,500 feet. This technology was developed as a result of a space Act Agreement, which permits NASA to partner with outside organizations to bring NASA expertise, assets or information to a wide community. Space Act Agreement, which date back to 1958, allows NASA to work with a broad spectrum of partners from all public and private sector discipline, according to NASA’s website.

Nasa chief technologist, Mason Peck, said: “What we learn from testing this technology on the oil platforms will benefit a broad range of terrestrial and space applications, and shows Nasa’s technology investments support America’s future in space and improve our lives here on Earth.”

Published by FiberStore, industry news –

Higher Data Throughput From Multimode Fiber Patch Cables

Higher Data Throughput From Multimode Fiber Patch Cables

Information available at our fingertips in form of digital data today has swelled up to levels which had never been before. At the same time, real time communication has exponentially increased to extremely high levels. A whole class of applications have emerged that demand for transmission of high-speed data.

Necessity may be the mother of invention – optical fiber networks have been invented and deployed to solve the problem of high volume data exchange. And multimode fiber patch cables have grown to be the very first choice one of the different connectors of the wired carriers with endpoint devices.

What are the speed-hungry and volume-hungry data centric applications that have created this entire demand? Some examples of those applications are the Internet, the local area multi-computer networks, the phone networks and the ATM networks. There are many more applications with intense hunger for fast communication resources. For those practical purposes, these communication channels need a high-speed network that can carry enormous volumes of data with minimal attenuation and extreme accuracy. The modern fiber optic cable technology provides exactly this sort of communication.

The multimode patch cables are used to connect this data transmitted over the network towards the devices that they target to cater. These patches may also be used to connect the two loose ends of two fiber optic cables. The patch cables have to be multimode when the requirement is to support multimode optical fibers.

What is a multimode cable poor fiber optics? A multimode is one in which multiple packets of data can be simultaneously carried across the wire. The result is that the network can carry numerous data packets at a instant of time. The multimode mainline network cables are usually short long since the target with these cables is to support high speed and high power multiuser systems in a localized sense. The patches are compatible with the network cables to enable the machine remain aligned with the network objectives. Consequently the multimode patches support multiple user applications transferring data simultaneously, as well as retain the qualities of standard single mode patches like the high network speed, low network hindrances and occasional external interferences.

It’s also interesting to note that the end point devices these patch cables connect can be heterogeneous in nature. The aperture the end point device requires and types of applications supported may be diverse. There exist several different kinds of multimode fiber patch cables you can use based upon the requirements. And depending upon the exact reason why you have to install the patch on your fiber optic network, you shall need to select your patch and go ahead with the required installation.