fiber optics communicationDo you remember those days when it took 7 hours to download a high-quality 180MB MP3 album? Now you can download the same in less than a minute! Have you also observed that there is lesser lag or latency when you play online games? Don’t they make you wonder what can be the reason behind these high download and upload speeds? Well, fiber optics is the technology that has revolutionized communication and has increased bandwidth dramatically. Fiber  technology enables Internet providers to offer much greater connectivity with decreased network congestion, and faster on-demand video streaming.

What is Fiber Optic Communication?

Fiber optic communication is a communication technology that uses fiber optic cables for data transmission. Fiber-optic cables, also known as light-pipes, are designed to transmit digital data and information in the form of light signals over long distances with very little loss. These cables are made from bundles of optical fibers which are long, thin strands of pure glass, each strand being nearly as thin as human hair. A high quality communication cable is made of glass or silicon dioxide. Normally, we think glass is brittle and can break easily, but when it is made thinner than a human hair, it becomes very flexible and strong. You can also find fiber-optic cables made of plastic, which are used for very short distance (a few meters) communication, for example, that is used in hi-fi systems to carry audio information.

Fiber Optic Relay System

A Fiber Optic relay system consists of the following four parts:

Where is Fiber-Optic Communication Mainly Used?

Fiber optic communication has lots of uses. Fiber-optic cable is a great invention as it offers no interference, has massive transmission speed, and the same cable can be easily used to carry voice, television, internet, and telephone calls.

The Internet uses fiber optic cables. It is a perfect application, because the Internet sends data in ones and zeros and the fiber optic cables digitally send this data. Telephones were one of the first uses for fiber optics. Digital television or cable TV is often transmitted by fiber optic cables. Other uses are medical imaging and mechanical inspection.

Aircrafts use fiber-optic cables to transmit data since they cannot risk any electrical interference during data transmission. Since fiber cables are very flexible, they are used in many flexible digital cameras for medical imaging in bronchoscopes, endoscopes, and laparoscopes. For mechanical imaging, fiber is used for inspecting mechanical welds in pipes and engines, and for plumbing, it’s used to inspect sewer lines.

Fiber optic cables with optical regenerators can be used for long distance communications. They can be placed in buildings, buried in the ground or even placed in the ocean. Though fiber optic cables can break and accidentally tear during the digging process, they can also be repaired using a technique called splicing.

Manifold Benefits of Fiber Optic Communication

Compared to conventional coaxial copper or metallic cables, fiber optic cables have several advantages:

Summary

Though fiber optic cables are cheaper than coaxial cables, the allied equipment and instruments required for setting up the fiber optic communication system make this arrangement more costly. So, in ordinary environments or for shorter distances, it is not practical to use fiber optics to transmit data. But where secured, noise free transmission is required over large distances, fiber optic communication is the best option.

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