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Chapter 12 Fiber Optics

Deepak Chopade

• An optical fiber is essentially a waveguide for light • It consists of a core and cladding that surrounds the core • The index of refraction of the cladding is less than that of the core, causing rays of light leaving the core to be refracted back into the core • A light-emitting diode (LED) or laser diode (LD) can be used for the source • Advantages of optical fiber include:
– – – – Greater bandwidth than copper Lower loss Immunity to crosstalk No electrical hazard

Optical Fiber & Communications System

Optical Fiber
• Optical fiber is made from thin strands of either glass or plastic • It has little mechanical strength, so it must be enclosed in a protective jacket • Often, two or more fibers are enclosed in the same cable for increased bandwidth and redundancy in case one of the fibers breaks • It is also easier to build a full-duplex system using two fibers, one for transmission in each direction

the refractive index is listed • The angle of refraction at the interface between two media is governed by Snell’s law: n1sin θ sinθ = n 1 1 1 .Total Internal Reflection • Optical fibers work on the principle of total internal reflection • With light.

Refraction & Total Internal Reflection .

A.Numerical Aperture • The numerical aperture of the fiber is closely related to the critical angle and is often used in the specification for optical fiber and the components that work with it The numerical aperture is given by the formula: 1 1 N . = n1 − n1 • • The angle of acceptance is twice that given by the numerical aperture .

light entering at different angles will excite different modes while narrow fiber may only excite one mode • Multimode propagation will cause dispersion. Its small size. light can propagate in a number of modes • If a fiber is of large diameter.Modes and Materials • Since optical fiber is a waveguide. together with the fact that its numerical aperture is smaller than that of multimode fiber. which results in the spreading of pulses and limits the usable bandwidth • Single-mode fiber has much less dispersion but is more expensive to produce. makes it more difficult to couple to light sources .

Types of Fiber • • • Both types of fiber described earlier are known as step-index fibers because the index of refraction changes radically between the core and the cladding Graded-index fiber is a compromise multimode fiber. but the index of refraction gradually decreases away from the center of the core Graded-index fiber has less dispersion than a multimode step-index fiber .

the signal travels faster in some modes than it would in others • Single-mode fibers are relatively free from dispersion except for intramodal dispersion • Graded-index fibers reduce dispersion by taking advantage of higher-order modes • One form of intramodal dispersion is called material dispersion because it depends upon the material of the core • Another form of dispersion is called waveguide dispersion • Dispersion increases with the bandwidth of the light source .Dispersion • Dispersion in fiber optics results from the fact that in multimode propagation.

Examples of Dispersion .

which causes some light to strike the cladding at less than the critical angle • Bending the optical fiber too sharply can also cause losses by causing some of the light to meet the cladding at less than the critical angle • Losses vary greatly depending upon the type of fiber – Plastic fiber may have losses of several hundred dB per kilometer – Graded-index multimode glass fiber has a loss of about 2–4 dB per kilometer – Single-mode fiber has a loss of 0.4 dB/km or less .Losses • Losses in optical fiber result from attenuation in the material itself and from scattering.

Types of Losses .

Fiber-Optic Cables • There are two basic types of fiber-optic cable – The difference is whether the fiber is free to move inside a tube with a diameter much larger than the fiber or is inside a relatively tight-fitting jacket • They are referred to as loose-tube and tight-buffer cables • Both methods of construction have advantages – Loose-tube cables—all the stress of cable pulling is taken up by the cable’s strength members and the fiber is free to expand and contract with temperature – Tight-buffer cables are cheaper and generally easier to use .

Fiber-Optic Cable Construction .

Splices and Connectors • In fiber-optic systems. the losses from splices and connections can be more than in the cable itself • Losses result from: – Axial or angular misalignment – Air gaps between the fibers – Rough surfaces at the ends of the fibers .

especially when it involves mismatches in numerical aperture or in the size of optical fibers Good connections are more critical with single-mode fiber.Fiber-Optic Connectors • Coupling the fiber to sources and detectors creates losses as well. due to its smaller diameter and numerical aperture A splice is a permanent connection and a connector is removable • • .

Optical Couplers and Switches • As with coaxial cable and microwave waveguides. it is possible to build power splitters and directional couplers for fiberoptic systems It is more complex and expensive to do this with fiber than with copper wire Optical couplers are categorized as either star couples with multiple inputs and outputs or as tees. which have one input and two outputs • • .

so the coupler is bidirectional .Coupler Construction • Optical couplers can be made in many different ways: – A number of fibers can be fused together to make a transmissive coupler – A reflective coupler allows a signal entering on any fiber to exit on all other fibers.

which reflects it into the outgoing fiber. By moving the prism.Optical Switches and Relays • • Occasionally. it is necessary to switch optical signals from one fiber to another The simplest type of optical switch moves fibers so that an input fiber can be positioned next to the appropriate output fiber Another approach is direct the incoming light into a prism. the light can be switched between different output fibers Lenses are necessary with this approach to avoid excessive loss of light • • .

Optical Emitters • Optical emitters operate on the idea that electromagnetic energy can only appear in a discrete amount known as a quantum. These quanta are called photons when the energy is radiated • Energy in one photon varies directly with the frequency • Typical optical emitters include: – Light-Emitting Diodes – Laser Diodes .

light is generated and passes through an opening or lens LEDs can be visible spectrum or infrared .Light-Emitting Diodes • • • An LED is form of junction diode that is operated with forward bias Instead of generating heat at the PN junction.

compared to 50 nm for a common LED • Laser diodes are constructed much like LEDs but operate at higher current levels .Laser Diodes • Laser diodes generate coherent. intense light of a very narrow bandwidth • A laser diode has an emission linewidth of about 2 nm.

Laser Diode Construction .

Optical Detectors • • • • The most common optical detector used with fiber-optic systems is the PIN diode The PIN diode is operated in the reverse-bias mode As a photodetector. in which electrons can create electron-hole pairs The low junction capacitance of the PIN diode allows for very fast switching . the PIN diode takes advantage of its wide depletion region.

creating up to 100 more pairs This multiplying effect gives an APD very high sensitivity • .Avalanche Photodiode • • The avalanche photodiode (APD) is also operated in the reversebias mode The creation of electron-hole pairs due to the absorption of a photon of incoming light may set off avalanche breakdown.

8 Gbps each – 10.1 Tbps – Over 100km .Wavelength Division Multiplexing • • • • • Multiple beams of light at different frequency Carried by optical fiber A form of FDM Each color of light (wavelength) carries separate data channel 1997 Bell Labs – 100 beams – Each at 10 Gbps – Giving 1 terabit per second (Tbps) • • Commercial systems of 160 channels of 10 Gbps now available Lab systems (Alcatel) 256 channels at 39.

WDM Operation • • • • • • • • Same general architecture as other FDM Number of sources generating laser beams at different frequencies Multiplexer consolidates sources for transmission over single fiber Optical amplifiers amplify all wavelengths – Typically tens of km apart Demux separates channels at the destination Mostly 1550nm wavelength range Was 200MHz per channel Now 50GHz .

Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing • DWDM • No official or standard definition • Implies more channels more closely spaced that WDM • 200GHz or less .

Wavelength Division multiplexing Each wavelength is like a separate channel (fiber) .

distribute. isolate and amplify optical power at different wavelengths .Wavelength Division Multiplexing • Passive/active devices are needed to combine.

analog or digital) • Scalability– Buy and install equipment for additional demand as needed • Wavelength routing and switching: Wavelength is used as another dimension to time and space .Why WDM? • Capacity upgrade of existing fiber networks (without adding fibers) • Transparency: Each optical channel can carry any transmission format (different asynchronous bit rates.

Evolution of the Technology .

CWDM and DWDM • WDM technology uses multiple wavelengths to transmit information over a single fiber • Coarse WDM (CWDM) has wider channel spacing (20 nm) – low cost • Dense WDM (DWDM) has dense channel spacing (0.8 nm) which allows simultaneous transmission of 16+ wavelengths – high capacity .WDM.

1310 nm and 1550 nm • Today's DWDM systems utilize 16. 32. 100. 200 and 1000 GHz spacing • Wavelength spacing practically depends on: – laser linewidth – optical filter bandwidth .128 or more wavelengths in the 1550 nm window • Each of these wavelength provide an independent channel (Ex: each may transmit 10 Gb/s digital or SCMA analog) • The range of standardized channel grids includes 50.64.WDM and DWDM • First WDM networks used just two wavelengths.

 c  ITU-T ∆ν =  1 ∆λ Standard Transmission DWDM windows λ  .

4 – 1. routed and switched individuall .Principles of DWDM • • • • • BW of a modulated laser: 10-50 MHz  0.001 nm Typical Guard band: 0.6 nm 80 nm or 14 THz @1300 nm band 120 nm or 15 THz @ 1550 nm Discrete wavelengths form individual channels that can be modulated.

Nortel OPTERA 640 System 64 wavelengths each carrying 10 Gb/s .

DWDM Limitations Theoretically large number of channels can be packed in a fiber For physical realization of DWDM networks we need precise wavelength selective devices Optical amplifiers are imperative to provide long transmission distances without repeaters .

048Mbps) – Multiple STS-1 combined into STS-N signal – ITU-T lowest rate is 155.84Mbps – Carry DS-3 or group of lower rate signals (DS1 DS1C DS2) plus ITU-T rates (e. 2.SONET/SDH • • • • Synchronous Optical Network (ANSI) Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (ITU-T) Compatible Signal Hierarchy – Synchronous Transport Signal level 1 (STS-1) or Optical Carrier level 1 (OC-1) – 51.g.52Mbps (STM-1) .

SONET Frame Format .