A typical fiber optic communication system: T, transmitter; C, connector; S, splice;R, repeater; D, detector
In addition to the capability of carrying a huge amount of information, optical fibersfabricated with recently developed technology are characterized by extremely low losses(< 0.2 dB/km), as a consequence of which the distance between two consecutive repeaters(used for amplifying and reshaping the attenuated signals) could be as large as 250 km. Weshould perhaps mention here that it was the epoch-making paper of Kao and Hockham in1966 that suggested that optical fibers based on silica glass could provide the necessarytransmission medium if metallic and other impurities could be removed. Indeed, this 1966paper triggered the beginning of serious research in developing low-loss optical fibers. In1970, Kapron, Keck, and Maurer (at Corning Glass in USA) were successful in producingsilica fibers with a loss of about 17 dB/km at a wavelength of 633 nm. (Kapron, Keck, andMaurer) Since then, the technology has advanced with tremendous rapidity. By 1985 glassfibers were routinely produced with extremely low losses (< 0.2 dB/km). Along the path of the optical fiber are splices, which are permanent joints between sections of fibers, andrepeaters that boost the signal and correct any distortion that may have occurred along thepath of the fiber. At the end of the link, the light is detected by a photodetector andelectronically processed to retrieve the signal.In recent years it has become apparent that fiber-optics are steadily replacing copper wire asan appropriate means of communication signal transmission. They span the long distancesbetween local phone systems as well as providing the backbone for many network systems.Other system users include cable television services, university campuses, office buildings,industrial plants, and electric utility companies.A fiber-optic system is similar to the copper wire system that fiber-optics is replacing. Thedifference is that fiber-optics use light pulses to transmit information down fiber lines insteadof using electronic pulses to transmit information down copper lines. Looking at thecomponents in a fiber-optic chain will give a better understanding of how the system worksin conjunction with wire based systems.At one end of the system is a transmitter. This is the place of origin for information comingon to fiber-optic lines. The transmitter accepts coded electronic pulse information comingfrom copper wire. It then processes and translates that information into equivalently codedlight pulses. A light-emitting diode (LED) or an injection-laser diode (ILD) can be used forgenerating the light pulses. Using a lens, the light pulses are funneled into the fiber-opticmedium where they travel down the cable. The light (near infrared) is most often 850nm forshorter distances and 1,300nm for longer distances on Multi-mode fiber and 1300nm forsingle-mode fiber and 1,500nm is used for longer distances.
3.2 Advantages Of Optical Fibres
At the heart of an optical communication system is the optical fiber that acts as thetransmission channel carrying the light beam loaded with information. In the present time,we have ultra low loss fibres (0.001 dB/km) so that the optical signals can be transmittedthrough the fibre over a very long distances with low loss. Thus the optical fibres aredielectric waveguides which transmit the optical signals or data through
them with a very lowattenuation and very low dispersion. Thus one can achieve very high band width or high datarate using fiber optic cables. Now a days, we have dispersion free and dispersioncompensation fibers.Let us see the advantages of optical fiber communication over conventional communicationsystem.