Applications, Working and Real-Life Usage of Optical Fibre Cable

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The expertise to gather and disseminate information is empowering. Information transmission plays a crucial role in the expansion of our horizons. This, along with the need to stay connected, has increased the demand for high-speed, high-quality, and consistent internet, made possible via fibre optics. What has also led to optical fibre cable (OFC) industry's growth is the deployment of broadband-based network architectures due to innovations in the telecom sector.

This article will cover the following things related to fibre optic cable:

  • Fibre Optic Cables: The Science Behind!
  • What Is Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) and How Does It Work?
  • Global Optical Fibre Cable Market: Industry Insights
  • What are the different types of optical fiber cables?
  • Difference between multimode and single-mode optical fiber cable
  • What are the applications of Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) ?
  • FAQs Related to OFC

Fibre Optic Cables: The Science Behind!

Fibre optics are made up of extremely thin strands of purified glass carrying information from one point to another in light form. These cables don't use electricity during transmission. Instead digital signals travel through the cable as pulses of light. These cables can either be of plastic or glass tubing, capable of transmitting light converted into speech, sound, or information. The outer diameter of an optic fibre is 125 micrometers while the core of the inner transmitting cylinder has a much smaller diameter, lesser than 10 micrometers in some cases. A basic fibre optic system comprises:

  • A light signal generating transmitting device
  • A light carrying optical fibre cable (OFC)
  • A transmitted light signal accepting receiver.

What is Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) and How Does It Work?

A fibre optic cable is about 120-125micrometers in diameter and is made up of very thin strands of plastic or glass, also known as optical fibre. This carry information through the cable using optical or light-based technology. Optical bundles have bundled up fibre, transmitting light signals over long distances and enabling fibre optic cable transmission speed. The light beams emerge at the other end after traveling down the OFC. a photoelectric cell is utilized to convert the light pulses into electrical information that the computer can understand. The basic optical fibre transmission system comprises three components - fibre optic cable, transmitter, and receiver.

The fibre cable end is connected to a transmitter that converts electronic pulses into light pulses, while sending optical signal through the fibre cable. The optical signal is decoded into digital pulses by the receiver on the other end. The cladding surrounding the core of the cable reflects the light into the core, thereby preventing the light from escaping the cable via a process called total internal reflection.

Reach and bandwidth are amongst the best advantages that fibre offers. Compared to traditional copper telecom cables that lose 94% signal over a 100-meter distance, optical fibre cable loses about 3% and is far more efficient. It's also fragile yet more durable. Fiber optic cables transmit data at much higher speed than copper wires.

Global Fibre Optics Market- Industry Insights

Technological advances along with extensive research and innovation have proven to be beneficial to the market, which is growing exponentially. According to a report by research and markets, the fiber optic global market was valued at US$16.5K million in 2019 and is projected to cross the US$39k million mark by 2027, forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 11.27% in seven years, from 2020-2027. The evolution of fibre-rich infrastructure has boosted the demand for these cables. Given a few factors like extensive research, increasing investments, etc. are considered for the development and upgradation of the technology in its application area, the market is expected to grow throughout the forecast period. The awareness related to the perks of this technology is further pushing the market growth.

What are the different types of optical fiber cables?

The classification can be based on 3 factors – materials used, refractive index, and light propagation mode.

On the basis of the refractive index:

Graded Index Fibre: The relationship between the radial distance of the fibre axis and the refractive index of the optical fibre is directly proportional.

Step Index Fibre: It consists of a core covered under a cladding comprising a single uniform index of refraction.

On the basis of materials:

Glass Opical Fibre Cable: It comprises hair-like glass fibre. Plastic Optical Fibre: Its core material is made up of poly (methyl methacrylate) for transmitting light.

On the basis of light propagation mode: Multimode Fibre: Useful for short-distance signal transmission.

Single-Mode Fibre: Useful for long-distance signal transmission.

Difference between multimode and single-mode optical fiber cable

While single mode fibre allows one type of light to be propagated at a time, multimode optical fibre cable is capable of propagating multiple modes. Since single-mode fibre cable can be utilized for long-distance applications, it is expected to grow quickly during the forecast period and have a low installation cost. The core diameter of multimode fibre is larger than single-mode fibre's core diameter, enabling the former to have a higher light-gathering capacity.

What are the application of Fibre Optic Cable?

Possessing the ability to transmit humungous amounts of data at an extremely high speed, optic fibre cables can perform a variety of tasks such as:

High-speed Internet: Compared to traditional copper cables, OFC are lighter, less bulky, and have more flexibility.

Networking: Wherever there is a need for faster networking, fibre optic cable serves as the most preferred mode.

Data centres: Fibre optic cable transmission speed makes it ideal to be used in data centres, both for structuring cabling and connecting the edge data centres.

Defiance application A high level of data security is one of the best optical fibre cable (OFC) benefits, making it ideal to be used in the defence sector.


Who invented OFC?

In the 1960s, specific physical properties of glass were discovered by Charles Kuen Kao that formed the basis for high-speed data communication.

What equipment is required for fibre optic Internet?

For accommodating fibre optic cable transmission speed, a ‘residential gateway’ or a fibre-ready router is required.

What is used for the fabrication of OFC that are used for communication?

The fabrication of optical fibre cable is carried out under a multi-step process that begins with preform fabrication, followed by fibre drawing, coating, and spooling.

Why is silica used for the fabrication of optical fibre?

Silica possesses good optical transparency and has a wide wavelength range, which is why it has a broad glass transmission and can be drawn into fibre at high temperatures.

Fibre optical communication works on which principle?

Fibre optical communication works on the principle of total internal reflection under which the light signal transmission takes place from one location to another without the loss of energy.

What is the bandwidth of optical fibre cable?

Thanks to OFC transmission speed and the frequency range at which data travels without any attenuation, optical fibre has a high bandwidth.

What are some of the optical fibre cable (OFC) benefits?

1. The bandwidth of fibre optic cable is higher than that of copper cables.

2. More amount of data can be transmitted via fibre optic cable than other metal cables.

3. Lesser power consumption, economical and cost-efficient.

4. Flexible, durable, and lesser signal degradation.

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