Communication is the most integral part of our lives these days. Be it cellphones, emails, etc. the basic idea is to transfer messages from one point to another at great speeds. This transmission of signals is done through transferring mediums. The medium can be of 2 types:-
• Wired transmission mediums
• Wireless transmission mediums
Among the wired transmission mediums one can choose from twisted wires, copper wires, fiber optic cables and many more. Fiber optic cables are mostly used to carry light. The cable is not a single wire but instead is a collection of individual wires where each single wire is given a plastic coating. The whole cable is also given a protective coating according to the environment where it will be used. The environment of application will determine the robustness, resistibility and durability of the wire. The material used is mostly plastic or glass depending on the range of transmission. For short range, plastic is used whereas for medium and long range, glass is used.
The optical system has three components:-
• Optical transmitter
• Optical receiver
• Actual optic medium connecting the transmitter and the receiver
The optical transmitter can be a LASER, coherent light source or a light emitting diode. The actual propagation of light through the optical fiber is based on Maxwell’s equation.
Fiber optic cables are used for various purposes ranging from long distance telemetering to speedy information transmission from one node to another within a building. There are many advantages of using fiber optic cables. Some of them are as follows:-
• Not affected by electromagnetic interference
• There is no or very little fiber crosstalk. Therefore data security is maintained
• Multiplexing of large number of signals is possible as high frequency bandwidths can also be used
• Provide safety in hazardous areas
• Much more convenient as compared to other wired mediums
• Less ground loop problems are present in such transmissions.
For some specific purposes, color coded cable are available. In total 12 colors are used in the cable markings. Each color has its own specifications known to the technicians handling them. This method makes it easier to use such cables and prevents mishaps.
Nowadays hybrid cables are also used which are a mix of fiber optic cables and electrical wires. In such hybrid cables, information and power are transmitted together.
Fiber optic cables are the perfect choice if performance and safety are required. It is one of the important things to remember.