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Fibre Optic Fundementals

Fibre Optic Fundementals

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Published by MH Hisyam

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Published by: MH Hisyam on Oct 24, 2009
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06/17/2013

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Technical
 
Memorandum100Fiber Optics: Theory and Applications
 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTSFiber Optics Fundamentals
1Total Internal Reflection 1Numerical Aperture 1Depth of Focus 3Contrast Versus EMA 4Resolution 4
Fiber Optics Configurations
5FIBER NON-IMAGING CONFIGURATIONS 5Single Fiber 5Light Guides 5Plastic Fibers 6FIBER IMAGING CONFIGURATIONS 6Flexible Imagescopes 6Rigid Combiner/Duplicators 6FUSED IMAGING CONFIGURATION 7Image Conduit 7Faceplates 8Tapers 11Inverters 11Fibreye 12
 
 
Fiber Optics Fundamentals
The science of fiber optics deals with the transmissionor guidance of light (rays or waveguide modes in theoptical region of the spectrum) along transparent fibersof glass, plastic, or a similar medium. The phenomenonresponsible for the fiber or light-pipe performance is thelaw of total internal reflection.
Total Internal Reflection
A ray of light, incident upon the
interface
 betweentwo transparent optical materials having different indicesof refraction, will be totally internally reflected (rather than refracted) if (1) the ray is incident upon the interface from thedirection of the more dense material and(2) the angle made by the ray with the normal to theinterface is greater than some critical angle, thelatter being dependent only on the indices of refraction of the media (see Figure 1).Rays may be classified as meridional and skew.Meridional rays are those that pass through the axis of afiber while being internally reflected. Skew rays arethose that never intersect the fiber axis although their  behavior patterns resemble those of meridional rays inall other respects. For convenience, this discussion willdeal only with the geometric optics of meridional raytracing.An off-axis ray of light traversing a fiber 50 micronsin diameter may be reflected 3000 times per foot of fiber length. This number increases in direct proportion todiameter decrease.Total internal reflection between two transparentoptical media results in a loss of less than 0.001 percent per reflection; thus a
useful 
quantity of illumination can be transported. This spectral reflectance differssignificantly from that of aluminum (shown graphicallyin Figure 2). An aluminum mirror cladding on a glassfiber core would sustain a loss of approximately 10 percent per reflection, a level that could not be toleratedin practical fiber optics.As indicated in Figure 1, the angle of reflection isequal to the angle of incidence. (By definition, the angleis that measured between the ray and the normal to theinterface at the point of reflection.)Light is transmitted down the length of a fiber at aconstant angle with the fiber axis. Scattering from thetrue geometric path can occur, however, as a result of (1) imperfections in the bulk of the fiber;(2) irregularities in the core/clad interface of thefiber; and(3) surface scattering upon entry.In the first two instances, light will be scattered in proportion to fiber length, depending upon the angle of incidence. To be functional, therefore, long fibers musthave an optical quality superior to that of short fibers.Surface scattering occurs readily if optical polishing hasnot produced a surface that is perpendicular to the axisof the fiber; pits, scratches, and scuffs diffuse light veryrapidly.The speed of light in matter is less than the speed of light in air, and the change in velocity that occurs whenlight passes from one medium to another results inrefraction. It should be noted that a portion of the lightincident on a boundary surface is not transmitted but isinstead reflected back into the air. That portion that
is
transmitted is
totally reflected 
from the sides, assumingthat the angle is less than the critical angle (see Figure1).The relationship between the angle of incidence
 I 
and the angle of refraction
 R
is expressed by Snell’s lawas N
1
sin
 I 
= N
2
sin
 R
 where N
1
is the index of refraction of air and N
2
theindex of refraction of the core. Since N
1
= 1 for all practical purposes, the refractive index of the core becomes N
2
= sin
 I 
/sin
 R
 
Numerical Aperture
 Numerical aperture (abbreviated N.A. in this paper)is a basic descriptive characteristic of specific fibers. Itcan be thought of as representing the size or “degree of openness” of the input acceptance cone (Figure 3).Mathematically, numerical aperture is defined as the
Figure 2 Aluminum Mirror ReflectanceFigure
1
 Refraction, Reflection, and Numerical Aperture

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