Fiber Optic Cable Facts Essay

1133 words - 5 pages

'A relatively new technology with vast potential importance, fiber optics is thechanneled transmission of light through hair-thin glass fibers.'[ Less expensive than copper cables[ Raw material is silica sand[ Less expensive to maintain[ If damaged, restoration time is faster(although more users are affected)[ Backbone to the Information SuperhighwayInformation (data and voice) is transmitted through the fiber digitally by the useof high speed LASERs (Light Amplification through the Simulated Emission ofRadiation) or LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). Each of these methods create a highlyfocused beam of light that is cycled on and off at very high speeds. Computers at thetransmitting end convert data or voice into 'bits' of information. The information isthen sent through the fiber by the presence, or lack, of light. Computers on thereceiving end convert the light back into data or voice, so it can be used.ORIGIN OF FIBER OPTICSInformation (data and voice) is transmitted through the fiber digitally by the useof high speed LASERs (Light Amplification through the Simulated Emission ofRadiation) or LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). Each of these methods create a highlyfocused beam of light that is cycled on and off at very high speeds. Computers at thetransmitting end convert data or voice into 'bits' of information. The information isthen sent through the fiber by the presence, or lack, of light. So, all of the data is sentlight pulses. Computers on the receiving end convert the light back into data or voice,so it can be used.All of this seems to be a very 'modern' concept, and the technology we use is.The concept though, was the idea of Alexander Graham Bell in the late 1800's. He justdidn't have a dependable light source... some days the sun doesn't shine! He thoughtof the idea that our voices could be transmitted by pulses of light. The people whothought that audio, video, and other forms of data could be transmitted by light throughcables, were present day scientists. Most of the things that are possible today,Alexander Grahm Bell could never even have dreamed of.Although the possibility of lightwave communications occurred to AlexanderGraham Bell (who invented the telephone), his ideas couldn't be used until the LASERor LED had been invented. Most of these advances occurred in the 1970s, and by 1977glass-purifying and other fiber-optic manufacturing techniques had also reached thestage where interoffice lightwave communications were possible. With furthertechnological development, many intercity routes were in operation by 1985, and sometransoceanic routes had been completed by 1990. Now, in the mid-90's, worldwideconnections are possible through the Internet.The light is prevented from escaping the fiber by total internal reflection, aprocess that takes place when a light ray travels through a medium with an Index ofRefraction higher than that of the medium surrounding it. Here the fiber core has ahigher refractive index than the material around the...

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