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Loss Characteristics of Optical Fiber

Loss Characteristics of Optical Fiber

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Published by Shuvodip Das

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Published by: Shuvodip Das on Feb 20, 2010
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04/19/2013

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Loss characteristics of Optical fiber:1.Attenuation2.Absorption3.Scattering4.Banding loss5.Dispersion Loss6.Coupling losses1.Attenuation:
Attenuation is the loss of optical energy as it travels through the fiber; thisloss is measured in dB/km.
Attenuation is a transmission loss that can be measured as a difference between the output signal power and the input signal power.It can be expressed in dB as – Attenuation loss α = 10 log
10
(P
input
/ P
output
) dBThe attenuation loss of fiber in dB/km is then expressed asα = 10 log
10
(P
input
/ P
output
) / L dB/km
Attenuation is a measure of the loss of signal strength or light power that occurs as light pulses propagate through a run of multimode or single-mode fiber.Attenuation in fiber optics, also known as transmission loss, is the reduction in intensityof the light beam (or signal) with respect to distance traveled through a transmissionmedium.Causes of Attenuation:Empirical research has shown that attenuation in optical fiber is caused primarily by bothscattering and absorption.Significance of measuring attenuation:1.Attenuation is an important consideration in the design of optical transmissionlinks since it determines the maximum repeaterless transmission distance betweenTx and Rx.Attenuation depends on – a) Attenuation depends on wavelength used (i.e. frequency used). The most common peak wavelengths are 780 nm, 850 nm, 1310 nm, 1550 nm, and 1625 nm. b) Attenuation depends on light intensity i.e input light power 
 
c) Attenuation depends on diameter of optical fiber (diameter of core mainly). For single/mono mode attenuation is minimum since lesser the traversed distance lesser the power loss.d) Attenuation definitely depends on distance. Distance between optical source andrepeater/detector.
Glass fiber (which has a low attenuation) is used for long-distancefiber optic cables; plastic fiber has a higher attenuation and henceshorter range.
How Attenuation can be minimized?
 
2.Absorption:
Absorption
is the way by which the energy of a photon is taken up by matter, typicallythe electrons of an atom. Thus, the light energy is transformed to other forms of energyfor example, to heat. The absorption of light during wave propagation is often calledattenuation.
Types or Classification:
Absorption of light in optical fibers may be intrinsic or extrinsic.
Intrinsic Absorption:
Intrinsic absorption is caused by basic fiber-material properties. If an optical fiber were absolutely pure, with no imperfections or impurities, then all absorptionwould be intrinsic.
In fiber optics, silica (pure glass) fibers are used. Silica fibers areused because of their low intrinsic material absorption at thewavelengths of operation.In silica glass, the wavelengths of operation range from 700 nanometers (nm) to 1600nm.
Cause of Intrinsic Absorption:
Intrinsic absorption is due to material and electron absorption.
Material absorption
is a loss mechanism which results in the dissipation of someof the transmitted optical power into heat in the optical fiber.
An absolutely pure silicate glass has little intrinsic absorption dueto its basic material structure.
Electron Absorption:
Intrinsic absorption in the ultraviolet region is caused by electronic absorption.
 
Basically, absorption occurs when a light particle (photon) interacts with an electron andexcites it to a higher energy level.
((Light is absorbed as photons that excite electrons of the core atom to a higher energy level.))
Figure shows the level of attenuation at the wavelengths of operation. This wavelength of operation is between two intrinsic absorption regions. The first region is the
ultraviolet
region (below 400-nmwavelength). The second region is the
infrared
region (above 2000-nm wavelength).
How Intrinsic Absorption can be minimized?
The effect of intrinsic absorption can be minimized by suitable composition of core and cladding materials.Moreover, fibers made of fluoride glasses, for example ZF
4
have low losses at higher wavelength.
Extrinsic Absorption .
– Extrinsic absorption is caused by impurities introduced into the fiber material. Metal impurities, such asiron, nickel, and chromium, are introduced into the fiber during fabrication.
Extrinsic absorption
is caused by the presence of transition metal impuritiesknown as impurity absorption.

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