After having explained what an optical fiber is , we are going to take a look at how optical fiber works. We are used to information circulating in different ways. When we speak into a landline telephone, a metal cable carries the sounds of our voice into a socket in the wall, where another cable takes care of the telephone exchange.
Mobile phones operate in a slightly different way: they send and receive information using invisible radio waves; it is therefore a wireless technology. Optical fiber, when it comes to it, is a third alternative for communication. It sends information encoded in a beam of light through a glass or plastic tube.
But how does the optical fiber contained in your pro fiber offer work?
How optical fiber works
How optical fiber works: optical cables
A fiber cable is made up of very fine strands of glass or plastic known as optical fibers; a cable can have two strands of fiber as well as several hundred. Each strand is less than a tenth the thickness of a human hair and can carry around 25,000 phone calls. A multi-strand cable can therefore easily carry several million calls.
Fiber optic cables carry information between two places using optical (light-based) technology. Suppose you want to send information from your home computer to a friend's computer down the street.
You would then have to hook up your computer to a laser, which would convert the electrical information from the computer into a series of light pulses. After traveling the entire length of the cable, the light beams would emerge at the other end. Your friend would then need a photocell (light sensing component) to transform the pulses of light into electrical information that his computer could understand.
The design of a fiber optic network
We will see in the next chapter what is the design of a high performance and efficient fiber optic network . We will also study the deployment of fiber, the work to be done, the advantages of fiber, etc.
But before, to fully understand how optical fiber works, back to the 1960s. That year, engineers found a way to use the same technology to transmit phone calls at the speed of light; data transport via optical fiber was born.
Light travels down a fiber optic cable, bouncing repeatedly. Each tiny photon (particle of light) bounces around the pipe like a bobsleigh going down a toboggan run.
You might think that to make a beam of light travel in a tube it is necessary to avoid the edges of the glass tube. But in fact, the light hits the glass at a very low angle (less than 42 degrees), is reflected again, as if the glass is really a mirror. This phenomenon is called total internal reflection . Thus, it is one of the components that keeps the light inside the pipe.
To conclude, the other element that keeps the light in the pipe is the structure of the cable, which is made up of two distinct parts. The main part of the cable, in the middle, is called the heart. Wrapped around the outside of the heart or core, another layer of glass is called the sheath.
Finally, the job of the coating is to keep the light signals inside the heart. In a synthetic way, this is how optical fiber works. Note that the characteristics will vary depending on the type of optical fiber used.
For more information about: How does fiber work