Understanding Signal Transmission in Fiber Optic Cables
The primary function of fiber optic cables is to send signals across long distances. The transmission of these signals takes place in the form of light. This answers for the speed of broadcast and its zero interference with other electronic devices around.
How Does It Actually Work?
Each of the cables constitutes thin strands of glass, which we often hear of as ‘fiber optics.’ These pieces of glass form the core of these cables and facilitate the major task of sending data, assisted by Fiber Optic Patch Cords. But doesn’t light travel in waves, spreading straight from its point of diffraction?
Yes, absolutely. Then how do light bend around corners while running through the length of the fiber optic cable? Let’s try to unravel the science that goes behind it.
How Light Bends Through Fiber Optic Cables?
The Mirror Effect
When you show a flashlight beam across a hallway, you will see the length of the light extending till the next bend but won’t be able to see anything further. But placing a mirror on the corner does the trick. You can now see the light bending further. This is because the mirror reflects the light. That’s exactly how the fiber optic cables basically work.
The reflection on which these cables operate is often termed as ‘total internal reflection’. That’s because when you send the light signal, the light remains within the cable and reflects internally. This also ensures the data isn’t lost during the transmission.
But the signals sent through fiber optic cables eventually degrade. That’s because of the decay of the signal either due to the wavelength or the affected purity of the optic glass.
The wavelengths that fiber optic cables utilize to send over information are much longer than the light visible to use. We call these invisible ranges of long light ‘infrared’. These infrared waves are when passed through the fiber optic cables weakens the transmission of data either by absorption and scattering.
So, basically, the length of the waves reduces the accentuation of the fiber optic cable. And if we use longer waves with lower frequencies, it would result in heat interference. The temperature of surrounding objects will thus be affected resulting in signal loss.
How To Ensure Maximum Utilization?
Though fiber optic cables do eventually degrade, getting good quality cables and accessories can increase its life significantly. For optimum functioning, consider buying quality cables. The wavelength of a typical good quality fiber optic cable varies from 850 to 1550 nanometers.
The accessories are equally important. The fiber optic patch cords that connect the devices through which the information transmits should also be of best quality. Often the patch cords decay and are assumed as cable decay, resulting in increased cost investment. Therefore, it’s always a great idea to get your electronics supply only from branded and reliable manufacturers. It’s not only important for the longevity of the supplies but is also imperative from the point of view of safety.
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