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Optical fiber cables The functions of the optical cable may be summarized into four main areas.

These are as follows: 1. Fiber protection. The major function of the optical cable is to protect against fiber damage and breakage both during installation and throughout the life of the fiber. 2. Stability of the fiber transmission characteristics. The cabled fiber must ha e good stable transmission characteristics which are comparable with the uncabled fiber. !ncreases in optical attenuation due to cabling are "uite usual and must be minimized within the cable design. #. $able strength. %ptical cables must ha e similar mechanical properties to electrical transmission cables in order that they may be handled in the same manner. These mechanical properties include tension& torsion& compression& bending& s"ueezing and ibration. 'ence the cable strength may be impro ed by incorporating a suitable strength member and by gi ing the cable a properly designed thick outer sheath. (. !dentification and jointing of the fibers within the cable. This is especially important for cables including a large number of optical fibers. !f the fibers are arranged in a suitable geometry it may be possible to use multiple jointing techni"ues rather than jointing each fiber indi idually. %ptical fiber cables must be designed so that the transmission characteristics of the fiber are maintained after the cabling process and cable installation. Therefore& potential increases in the optical attenuation and reduction in the bandwidth of the cabled fiber should be a oided. !n particular& a problem which often occurs in the cabling of optical fiber is the meandering of the fiber core a)is on a microscopic scale within the cable form. This phenomenon& known as microbending& results from small lateral forces e)erted on the fiber during the cabling process and it causes losses due to radiation in both multimode and single* mode fibers. !n addition to microbending losses caused by fiber stress and deformation on a micron scale& macrobending losses occur when the fiber cable is subjected to a significant amount of bending abo e a critical alue of cur ature. 'owe er& additional optical losses can

The primary coated fiber is then gi en a secondary or buffer coating . Fiber buffering The fiber is gi en a primary coating during production .the permanent strain on the fiber should be less than .jacket1 to pro ide protection against e)ternal mechanical and en ironmental influences.These losses may result from hydrogen absorption by the fiber material or from e)posure of the fiber cable to ionizing radiation Microbending +icroscopic meandering of the fiber core a)is& known as microbending& can be generated at any stage during the manufacturing process& the cable installation process or during ser ice.2-. This is due to en ironmental effects& particularly temperature ariations causing differential e)pansion or contraction . 0m of Teflon1 in order to pre ent abrasion of the glass surface and subse"uent flaws in the material.+icrobending introduces slight surface imperfections which can cause mode coupling between adjacent modes& which in turn creates a radiati e loss which is dependent on the amount of applied fiber deformation& the length of fiber& and the e)act distribution of power among the different modes.These can be summarized into the categories of  fiber buffering&  cable structural and strength members& and  cable sheath and water barrier... Cable design The cable must be designed so that the strain on the fiber in the cable does not e)ceed . These generally fall into one of three distinct types .typically / to 1.cable design may generally be separated into a number of major considerations. Since microbending losses are mode dependent and the number of modes is an in erse function of the wa elength of the transmitted light within a particular fiber& it is to be e)pected that microbending losses will be wa elength dependent.1-.occur when fiber cables are in situ. This buffer jacket is designed to protect the fiber from microbending losses and may take se eral different forms.

e. 2 loose tube buffer jacket shown in figure b produces an o er sized ca ity in which the fiber is placed and which mechanically isolates the fiber from e)ternal forces. and 67. .g. 2 ariation on the loose tube buffering in which the o er sized ca ity is filled with a moisture*resistant compound is depicted in Figure .usually 3.. 4oose tube buffering is generally achie ed by using a hard& smooth& fle)ible material& or combination of materials .i. it should not drip out or freeze between 5#. polyester and polyamide1& in the form of an e)truded tube with an outer diameter of typically 1. The filling material must be soft& self*healing and stable o er a wide range of temperatures .8$1& and therefore usually consists of specially blended petroleum or silicon*based compounds .e.(a) tight buffer jacket (b) loose tube buffer jacket (c) filled loose tube buffer jacket 2 tight buffer jacket is shown in Figure . 0m in diameter1 pro ides stiffening for the fiber against outside microbending influences& but it must be applied in such a manner as not to cause microbending losses itself. 0m. Advanatges  2s the buffer tube is smooth inside& it e)hibits a low resistance to mo ement of the fiber.a1& which usually consists of a hard plastic .g. nylon& 'ytrel& Tefzel1 and is in direct contact with the primary coated fiber which has a typical diameter of 2/.c1. This techni"ue& which combines the ad antages of the pre ious methods& also pro ides a water barrier in the immediate icinity of the fiber.e. This thick buffer coating .( mm.  !t pro ides the benefit that it can be easily stripped for jointing or fiber termination.

29. The structural member may also be a strength or tensile member if it consists of suitable material such as solid or stranded steel wire& dielectric aramid yarns& often simply referred to as a dielectric strength member and or glass elements. . This approach& which is referred to as stranding& is illustrated in Figure (.Cable structural and strength members %ne or more structural members are usually included in the optical fiber cable to ser e as a cable core foundation around which the buffered fibers may be wrapped& or into which they may be slotted.