An Overview of Fiber Optic Communications

February 15, 2021 , fiber optic systems

Fiber optic communications is a way of sending data from one location to another either by sending light pulses through an optical fiber or by use of a laser. The transmitted light is in the form of modulated carrier wave, which is then amplified by a source having the ability to create optical waves. These waves form an optical transmission, which is then converted into electrical signals. There are many fiber optic devices used in communication today and are especially used in telecommunications.

One of the major developments in fiber optic communications technology was made in 1990 when Bell Labs in Pittsburgh developed the first fiber optic communications system. Since then, other companies have been working to improve upon this system. The major advances in this field were made in the field of optics with the development of fiber optic cable and fibers. With the help of fiber optic cables, data can be transmitted over long distances without having to transmit the signal through air or using antennas.

Some of the major benefits of fiber optic cables are speeds, quality and cost savings. This is because fiber optic systems are much faster than the older methods of fiber transmission. This is possible because unlike the earlier methods, fiber optic cables do not have to contend with air resistance and other interference problems. Another benefit of fiber optic cables is the quality of the transmitted signals. Since the light is in the form of waves, it has the ability to carry much more information for less energy and therefore is much more powerful than radio communications.

With the development of fiber optic networking, laser applications became possible as well. Laser communications are especially useful in industries where one would like to transfer laser signals over long distances. Industries such as defense companies, engineering firms, medical clinics, astronomy centers and others have installed laser systems in their offices and workstations in order to send laser signals thousands of miles long to their distant clients. The technology used in this system involves fiber optics combined with a special laser that projects the laser light through a medium called an optical channel.

When lasers are used in this type of communication, the light that emanates from the laser is very strong. However, lasers do have a downside. Lasers emit light in the form of photons, which have the ability to be reflected and refracted. This means that the same laser signal can be sent through many mediums, but at different frequencies. Due to this phenomenon, lasers are often coupled with other types of technologies such as acoustic waveguides, fiberoptics and optoelectronics to increase the possibility of a transfer of the light signals.

Fiber optic cables are also used in telecommunication, which refers to the transfer of data from point A to point B. Telecommunication is divided into two main categories: optical fibers and electrical fibers. Optical fibers are much smaller than any other fiber, making them ideal for data transmission. Whereas, electrical fibers are longer and thicker, making them ideally suited for high-speed data transfer.