Fiber Optics – A History of Innovation
Fiber optic communications systems are a set of systems, which include both the transmitters and receivers, as well as the fibers used in their transmission. The fibers themselves are called ‘optical fibers‘ and they use light to transmit signals. The signals which are transmitted via these fibers have the property of being ‘laser transceivers’. The difference between these two systems is that laser communications utilize energy from a laser source rather than light from an optoelectronic source.
There are two main uses for fiber optic communications systems in modern industries, these are for communication in telecommunications and information networks. Telecommunication uses the information which is passed on in the form of phone calls, faxes or voice packets. Information networks actually utilize the same technology for their fiber optic cabling, but the application lies in the packaging of this fiber in telecommunications systems. Telephone companies and other networking industries use fiber optic cabling for high-speed voice and data transmission over long distances.
Fiber optic communications also provide security in the form of encryption and security. When fiber optics are used, there is a great deal of energy expended in the process and therefore a great deal of heat produced as the signal travels through the fiber optic fibers. This heat helps to prevent external interference which might otherwise cause damage to the delicate fiber optic communications equipment. This process of protecting against external interference is referred to as immunity, and the cables which use such immunity technology are referred to as immunity fiber optic cabling.
Fiber optic communications also carry digital information, which consists of electrical information sent by the sender through a laser or a transmitter. The transmitted laser light passes through a small gap between the fiber optic fibers. If an electronic transceiver is to intercept the light, the gap will prevent the light from going through. The laser light which is transmitted through the fiber optic communications cable is also protected against rain, wind, and dust. As a result, digital information which is sent through laser light is unencrypted and only transmitted in a single direction with a single frequency.
An important feature of fiber optic communications is that the lasers used do not emit electromagnetic radiation which is harmful to human beings. Electromagnetic radiation which is emitted from traditional vacuum tube phones and fax machines often enters into the environment. These devices often radiate in all directions, making them hazardous to humans. Fiber optics reduce this risk considerably. Electromagnetic radiation is also emitted from laser diodes that act as detectors in fiber optic communications systems.
Fiber optics are increasingly used by telephone companies for long distance phone conversations that happen to be at higher bandwidths than those used previously. Many Internet service providers use fiber optics for their high-speed Internet services. In general fiber optic communications technology is continually evolving, improving, and being replaced by newer, more technically advanced technology. Because of this, many older systems which are still in use are being replaced with newer, more efficient systems.