Fiber Optics Essay

625 words - 3 pages

Today’s data transmission requirements are high. Fiber optics, a technology used directly and indirectly in common items such as cell phones and other common and unexpected ways, is made of basic materials, but its uses are seemingly endless.
Manufacturers have several different methods of manufacturing and testing optical fibers. Commercial quality fibers are made from quartz, but refined to make the flexible fibers that are used. Sending light through the fiber and checking the quality of the signal is one way to test optical fibers. David Mazzarese (2003), a technical manager of Optical Fiber Solutions, states that there are many ways to manufacture multimode optical fiber (p. 1). Mazzarese explains one of these methods, in which highly pure quarts is placed on a special glass-working lathe. Ultra-pure gasses flow through the heated tube, in which the quartz is converted into glass “soot” (p. 1). When the “soot” is all gathered, it is formed into a solid rod called a preform. The preform is then placed on the top of a tower where the preform is heated and drops a thin strand of glass, about 125 microns in diameter, which is cooled and then coated with an acrylate coating, called “cladding.” The fiber is then wound on a spool (p. 2). Mazzarese (2003) states that all fibers are tested to make sure they are durable, have the right geometric properties, and the right optical properties for use. He also tells us about one test. It is accomplished by sending beams of light across different locations on the diameter of the cable so a detector can make sure that the cable is efficient. It is called high-resolution differential mode delay (p. 2). Since the fibers are well tested when manufactured, the customer can be sure that the data sent will be fast, and without any disturbances.

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