David Denham 2307ENG – Electromagnetic Waves and Propagating Systems



Experiment Number 1 ‘Optical Fiber Techniques’

Student Name Date Student No Partner Student Contact

David Denham August, 2010 s2679956 Melissa Tremayne david.denham@student.griffith.edu.au

The report presented is the sole work of the author. None of this report is plagiarized (in whole or part) from a fellow student’s work, or from any unreferenced outside source.


-2- .1) causing the light to be guided down the core. each with a different Refractive Index Profile. The light entering the fibre must be within the acceptance angle (θa) to be transmitted. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the two types? Optical Fibres are a mode of data communication in which light is guided through thin dielectric rods made of glass or transparent plastic. which can be seen in Fig1.David Denham 2307ENG – Electromagnetic Waves and Propagating Systems Preliminary (a) Explain the difference between a graded index fibre and a step index fibre.0.0 – Refractive Index Profile [1] In a step index fibre the refractive index (n) of the core is uniform and the cladding has a lower value of n (fig1. Figure 1. The inner dielectric rod is covered in a cladding with a lower refractive index to confine the light to travelling within the rod. Step index fibres work on the principle of total internal reflection. The Fibres come in different varieties depending on the application.

This cheaper design however leads to the susceptibility of modal dispersion. the refractive index (n) of the core gradually decreases in an almost parabolic function with increasing radial distance from the centre of the core. Figure 1. The rays with the higher incidence angle have to move further.2 – Graded Index Fibre Cross-Section [3] In a graded index fibre. The rays of light transmitted through a graded fibre travel in an almost sinusoidal path because of the design process used in developing the core.1 there are three rays of light being transmitted down the core of the fibre: -The first ray is outside of the acceptance angle and isn’t transmitted -The second ray reflects on the cladding whilst travelling down the fibre. This phenomenon is known as modal dispersion. The rays travelling through the centre axis travel slower because of the higher refractive index at the centre of the core.1 – Step Index Fibre Cross-Section [2] In figure 1.David Denham 2307ENG – Electromagnetic Waves and Propagating Systems Figure 1. Graded index fibres are less prone to modal dispersion because of the difference in the speed the light rays travel through the varying refractive indices. Step index fibres are cheap to produce because of the simplicity of the refractive index profile of the core. -The third travels along the axis of the fibre allowing for a shorter distance travelled The difference in distances the light has to travel means the ray of light travelling down the axis will be transmitted quicker than the second ray. but travel faster because of the lower refractive index of the outer -3- .

42 -0. however because of the complex core.00 0. Experimental Data Acceptance Angle (θi) -30 -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Sin(θi) -0. it is generally more expensive than Step Index fibre.17 0.50 Power (nW) 3.09 0.0 – Numerical Aperture (NA) Measurement -4- .34 -0. reducing the effects of modal dispersion.4 23 30 40 500 3400 4000 2700 700 92 60 35 3. This means that the waves are more likely to travel through the fibre at the same speed.50 -0.17 -0.42 0. It is also less prone to microbending and macrobending. The more consistent travel times for the light rays in a graded index fibre makes it more suitable for long distance applications.09 0.3 Table 1.26 -0.34 0.26 0.David Denham 2307ENG – Electromagnetic Waves and Propagating Systems edges of the core.

David Denham 2307ENG – Electromagnetic Waves and Propagating Systems Figure 1.3 – Numerical Aperture Calculation Graph -5- .

86° Measuered NA = 0. the fibre and the optical power meter Microbending and macrobending Absorption due to molecular imperfections or lack of optical purity Scattering.223.242 Refractive index of cladding = nc = 1.David Denham 2307ENG – Electromagnetic Waves and Propagating Systems -0. The numerical aperture value obtained through measurements was found to be 0. The minor difference in values can be accredited to a few flaws encounted during the experiment.210 Figure 1.235 Numerical Aperture (NA) Experimental Calculations: Power at 5% of the max intensity Half width at 200nW = Acceptance angle = sin-1(Half Width) = 200nW = 12.223 Refractive index of core Calculated NA = nf = 1. The similarity in results illustrate that the method used in the experiment to determine the NA was done effectively.4 – Zoomed Numerical Aperture Calculation Graph 0. due to impurites in the fibre -6- . The value caluclated when using typical values for the refractive indices of a multimode step index fibre was found to be 0. It is a dimensionless value and can be calculated using the sine of half of the acceptance angle.242.46 Numerical aperture is defined as the range of angles a fibre can recieve or emit light.48 = 0. • • • • • Imperfections in the incidence face of the fibre Incorrect allignment between the HeNe laser.

Conclusion In this experiment.029 mW/m Attenuation is a measurement of the optical power lost in the transmission of light through a fibre optic. This would greatly affect the calculations of the attenuation. The significantly higher attenuation value can be attributed to the same imperfections of the experiment found when calculating the numerical aperture values above. From Figure 1 of the ‘Laboratory Manual v2’. However. the attenuation coefficient of the fibre should be approximately 3dB/km. it can be seen that for a HeNe laser of λ=633nm. The ability to -7- .81 dB/km Γ = Attenuation Coefficient (W/m) = 2.001km) Γ = Attenuation Coefficient (dB/km) = 8.81dB/km. the fibre and the optical power meter Quality of the cleaving of the fibre When re-cleaving and repositioning the 111m spool of fibre optic for the 1m of fibre optic. the attenuation coefficient was determined to be 8. When measured and calculated in the experiment however.David Denham 2307ENG – Electromagnetic Waves and Propagating Systems • Damage to the cladding allowing small amounts of the light to escape the fibre D) Attenuation Measurement z = Spool length = 111m = 4uW = 5uW I(z) = Power reading (0. it was near impossible to recreate the exact same conditions. the main cause of discrepancies in the attenuation experiment can primarily be attributed to the differences in the: • • Alignment of the HeNe laser. an understanding of the operation and handling of optical fibre communication systems was obtained.111km) I(0) = Power reading (0.

-8- .223 respectively . 8. The attenuation and NA was experimentaly determined to be.David Denham 2307ENG – Electromagnetic Waves and Propagating Systems measure the numerical aperture and attenuation on a fibre and an understanding of the effect these cause the communication of signals was acquired.81 dB/km and 0.

[3] Graded Index Fibre Modes. Total internal reflection in multimode step-index fiber.com/wordpress/fiber-dispersion-andoptical-dispersion-an-overview/> [2] John R.globalspec.David Denham 2307ENG – Electromagnetic Waves and Propagating Systems Referencing [1] Optical Fibre Refractive Index Profile.aspx?id=7917>. accessed 12th August 2010. Fibre Optics for sale Co. <http://www.fiberoptics4sale.corning. 335.com/reference/10058/160210/Section4-7-1-1-Multimode-Step-Index-Fiber. viewed 12th August 2010. < www. viewed 12th August 2010. 2001. Vacca. Section 8. Fundamentals of Applied Electromagnetics. 2006. Corning. Numerical Aperture Measurement Method. Optical Networking Best Practices Handbook.com/wordpress/fiberdispersion-and-optical-dispersion-an-overview/> Ulaby. F.fiberoptics4sale.com/WorkArea/downloadasset.T.3 p. Pearson Prentice Hall. -9- . Fifth Edition. <http://www. http://www. Fibre Optics for sale Co. viewed 12th August 2010.

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