Design of a Fibre Optic Cable

What Does a Fibre Optic Cable Look Like?

Fibre optic cable is a next generation cable used in the transferral of data. This type of cable is similar to an electrical cable, but instead of simple wire, uses optical fibres that carry beams of refracted light. Fibre Optics is becoming increasingly popular and the cabling of choice for telecommunications companies, businesses and broadband providers

Design of Fibre Optic Cables

A fibre optic cable consists of the following items:

– An outer protective coating (usually PVC or a Fluoride Polymer).
– An Aramid strengthening member.
– Protective cladding.
– An inner glass fibre.

The premise of a fibre optic cable is to provide a strong conduit that allows the uninterrupted transferal of light from once source to another (e.g. from a telecom carrier to a workplace). The inner glass fibre core of the cable is the most important aspect – this small tube is what the actual light travel through allowing the transferal of data. Surrounding this fibre is a series of strengthening and protective layers that are meant to stop the light from dispersing and improve the quality and reliability of transmissions.

As optical cables transfer data at the relative speed of light, the rates are unbelievably high. Speeds of 10gbps are not uncommon for fibre optic cabling – the only limitation is the start and end terminals at each end of the line.

Benefits of Fibre Optic Cables Over Traditional Cabling

This type of data transmission technology is vastly superior to traditional cabling methods such as coaxial and copper wires. Firstly, fibre optic cables have a much larger potential bandwidth – as the medium of data transferal is light, a huge amount of information can be transmitted through a fibre. Secondly, fibre optic cables have much less power loss at longer distances – an optical cable can maintain a consistent rate of transferal for anything up to 2000m (copper wires for instance only remain reliable up to 100m).

Thirdly, fibre optic cables are extremely safe – due to the materials used and the method of transferral, it is virtually impossible to tap a fibre-optic line and intercept its data. Finally, fibre optic cables have a greater amount of flexibility than traditional copper cables and do not have any corrosive elements that can wear over prolonged periods.  In essence, fibre optic cable is superior to copper cabling in every aspect – the only downside is that fibre optic cables have a higher initial installation cost.

Common Applications of Fibre Optic Cables

Fibre optic cables are widely used in telecommunication’s networks amongstother industries. As the technology improves and costs reduce, we should onlysee an increase in its use as more and more organisations phase out theirarchaic copper network systems.  Some ofthe main applications of fibre optic cables are listed below:

– Internet systems
– Computer networks
– Cable Television
– Automotive industry
– Lighting and interior decorations
– Surgery & Dentistry
– Military and aerospace

In many of these instances, optical cables have revolutionised how industries operate and the products they create. For example, telecommunications providers can now offer ultra-high-speed broadband Internet connections to the public due to the capacity of fibre optic cables.

Furthermore, many vehicles are now benefiting from improved lighting systems due to the space-saving option optical cables presents.

As an increasing amount of businesses turn to fibre optics, this should only mean an improvement in service and reliability for a wide range of commodities and services we use on a daily basis.