Click to enlarge<b>Fiber Optic Basics</b><a name="top">

Technology, Systems and Installation

Author: Lawrence Harte, David Eckard

Number of Pages: 316
Number of Diagrams: 154
Copyright: 2006

Printed or Electronic Version (5.9MB) Available - Electronic Version has Color Diagrams

Fiber optic communication systems are used to provide high-speed communication connections. the need for high-capacity fiber systems has dramatically increased as a result of key broadband data applications and a much lower cost of sending information through fiber.

This book starts with the optical principles including wave theory and particle theory. the optical spectrum is explained along with the fundamentals of lightwave propagation. you will learn the principles of more....

Sample Diagrams

There are 154 explanatory diagrams in this book

Laser Operation

This figure shows the basic operation of a semiconductor light amplification stimulated emission of radiation (LASER) device. This example shows that a semiconductor LASER is constructed of a specific type of p-type and n-type semiconductor material. When a forward current is applied to the device, photons are produced within the optical cavity. As photons travel down the cavity, the produce other photons along their same path. This diagram shows that the optical cavity has a fully reflective mirror on one end that reflects all photons back into the cavity. At the other end, the mirror is partially reflective allowing some of the photons to exist from the LASER. This diagram shows that photons exit from the LASER in the same direction (coherent light).

Buffer Tube Stripping

This figure shows how tight buffer tube stripping removes the tight buffer tube from optical fiber. This diagram shows that the tubing cutter contains a knife edge that is pressed onto the buffer tube of the optical cable. The tubing cutter is then rotated around the optical fiber several times to create a cut in the buffer tube without cutting the optical fiber strand. The tubing cutter is then gently pulled to apply pressure to the buffer tube resulting in the sliding of the buffer tube off of the optical fiber. This example also shows that the optical cable is looped and held (loop not to exceed bend radius) to prevent the buffer tube from pulling through the optical cable.

Optical Cable Pulling

This diagram shows how a cable winch with a load monitor can be used to pull an optical cable through a conduit. This example shows that a winch is attached (clamped) to a pull box. Pulling rope has been already inserted through the conduit and the rope is wound around the pulling winch. The load monitor is set for the maximum pulling load tension that is allowed for the cable. The winch operator will maintain tension (keeping the cable tight) on the pulling rope allowing the winch motor to pull the cable. If the cable tension exceeds the maximum setting on the winch, the motor may be automatically shut off or a clutch may be engaged lowering the maximum pulling force on the cable.

Optical Time Domain Reflectometer Operation

This figure shows the basic operation of an optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR). This diagram shows that an OTDR test instrument sends an optical pulse into an optical communication line (a fiber). As the light from the light burst travel down the optical transmission line, some of the light energy is reflected back due to scattering effects. The returned light signal level is shown on the OTDR display over time. The amount of time it takes between the forward traveling light signal (incident light) and the time the reflected light is received back at the OTDR determines the length of the optical signal has traveled in the optical transmission line.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Optical Communication Basics
Optical History
Resistance to EMI
Low Cost Bandwidth
Lower Cable Weight
Reduced Power Consumption
High Reliability
Improved Signal Quality
High Security
Analog Signals
Digital Signals
Optical Transmitter
Optical Transmission
-Fiber Transmission
-Free Space Optical (FSO) Transmission
Optical Distribution
-Optical Switching
-Wave Division Multiplexing
Optical Receiver
Fiber to the Neighborhood (FTTN)
Fiber to the Curb (FTTC)
Fiber to the Home (FTTH)
Fiber to the Desktop (FTTD)

Chapter 2 - Optical Principles
Wave Theory
Particle Theory
Optical Spectrum
Optical Power Level
Optical Fiber
-Buffer Coating
-Step Index Fiber
-Graded Index Fiber (GRIN)
Optical Fiber Materials
-Glass Fiber
-Hard Clad Silica Fiber (HCS)
-Plastic Clad Silica Fiber (PCS)
-Plastic Optical Fiber (POF)
Manufacturing Optical Fiber
-Modified Chemical Vapor Deposition (MCVD)
-Outside Vapor Deposit (OVD)
-Vapor Axial Deposition (VAD)
-Pulling and Coating the Fiber
Optical Transmission
-Fiber Optic Transmission
-Single Mode Fiber Transmission
-Multimode Fiber Transmission
-Free Space Optical Transmission
Optical Fiber Characteristics
-Numerical Aperture (NA)
-Bending Loss
-Pulse Dispersion
-Material Dispersion
-Intermodal Dispersion
-Waveguide Dispersion
-Chromatic Dispersion
-Polarization Dispersion
-Zero Dispersion Point
-Dispersion Shifted Fiber (DSF)
-Differential Mode Attenuation (DMA)
-Equilibrium Mode Distribution (EMD)
-Wave Mixing
Optical Channel Bandwidth
-Bandwidth Distance Product (BWDP)
Optical Modulation
Optical Amplification
Optical Regeneration
Soliton Transmission
Optical Duplexing
Optical Multiplexing
Optical DeMultiplexing
Wavelength Changing
Optical Power Losses
-Fiber Transmission Loss
-Optical System Transmission Loss

Chapter 3 - Optical Systems
Synchronous Optical Network (SONET)
Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH)
Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI)
Fiber Distributed Data Interface II (FDDI-II)
Distributed Queue Dual Bus (DQDB)
Wave Division Multiplexing (WDM)
-Coarse WDM system (CWDM)
-Dense WDM system (DWDM)
Passive Optical Networks (PON)
Fibre Channel
Resilient Packet Ring
Optical Ethernet

Chapter 4 -Optical Network Equipment
Optical Filters
Optical Couplers
-Optical Splitters
-Star Couplers
-Tap Couplers (T Coupler)
Optical Isolators
Optical Attenuators
Optical Amplifiers
Optical Repeaters
Optical Combiners
Optical Modems
Add Drop Multiplexer (ADM)
Patch Panel
Optical Switches
-Electro-Optical Switches
-Mechanical Optical Switches
-Photonic Switches
Optical Line Termination (OLT)
Optical Network Unit (ONU)
Optical Network Termination (ONT)

Chapter 5 - Safety for Fiber Optic Cables
Environmental Hazards
-Cleaning Solutions
-Cable Lubricants
-Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Safety Procedures
-Working with Fiber
-Cable Stripping
-Cutting Cable
Laser Light
-Service Groups (SGs)
Cable Installation
-Cable Vaults
-Cable Tension
-Cable Grounding
Location Safety
-Construction Areas

Chapter 6 - Optical Transmitters and Receivers
Optical Transmitters
-Light Source Characteristics
-Light Emitting Diode (LED)
-Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (LASER)
-Optical Pattern
-Optical Multiplexing
Optical Receivers
-Light Detection
-PIN Photodiodes
-Avalanche Photodiodes (APD)
-Optical Demultiplexing

Chapter 7 - Fiber Optic Cables
Cable Components
-Buffer Tube
-Strength Members
-Filling Gel
-Cable Binding Materials
-Strength Member
-Non-Fiber Components
Cable Characteristics
-Maximum Bend Radius
-Color Codes
-Temperature Range
-Cable Fire Rating
-Installation Load
-Moisture Resistance
-Crush Rating
-National Electrical Code (NEC)
Cable Types
-Loose Tube Cable
-Premise Cable
-Armored Fiber Cable
-Ribbon Cable
-Optical Power Ground Wire (OPGW)
-Submarine Cable
-Aerial Cable
-Hybrid Cable
-Composite Cable
-Breakout Cable
-Fan-Out Cable
-Patch Cable
Cable Classification
-Plenum Cable
-Riser Cable
-General Purpose Cable
-Optical Fiber Nonconductive Plenum (OFNP)
-Optical Fiber Conductive Plenum (OFCP)
-Optical Fiber Nonconductive Riser (OFNR)
-Optical Fiber Conductive Riser (OFCR)
-Optical Fiber Nonconductive General Purpose (OFNG)
-Optical Fiber Conductive General Purpose (OFCG)
-Optical Fiber Nonconductive (OFN)
-Optical Fiber Conductive (OFC)
-Unmarked Cables

Chapter 8 - Installation Tools
Tubing Cutter
Side Cutter
Kevlar® Scissors
Lens Grade Tissues
Compressed Air Can
Isopropyl Alcohol
Small Bottle
Cable Jacket Slitter
Index Matching Gel
Optical Gel Remover
Paper Towels
Buffer Tube Stripper
Cable Crimper
Polishing Plate
Polishing Film
Electronic Thermometer
Epoxy Curing Oven
White Light
Syringe and Needle
Pipe Cleaner
Scribe Tools
Connector Holder

Chapter 9 -Optical Connectors
Connectors Components
-Retaining Nut
-Alignment Sleeve
-Crimp Sleeve
-Strain Relief Boot
-Dust Cap
Connectors Characteristics
-Fiber Retention
-Fiber Alignment
-Contact Connector
-Non-Contact Connector
-Rotational Alignment
-Keyed Connector
-Insertion Loss
-Back Reflection
Connector Types
-ST Connector
-Face Contact (FC Connector)
-Biconic Connector
-Subminiature A (SMA) Connector
-Deutche Institut Normung 4 Connector (D4 Connector)
-Subscriber Connector (SC Connector)
-MTP/MPO Connector
-Enterprise Systems Connections (ESCON Connector)
-Volition™ Fiber Connector (VF-45™)
-Mini BNC
Connector Losses
-Core Size Mismatch
-Coaxiality (Misalignment)
-Axial Alignment (Angular Mismatch)
-End Gap (Lateral Separation)
-End Angle
-Numeric Aperture Mismatch (NA Mismatch)
-Undercutting (Over Polishing)
Cable Stripping
-Jacket Slitting
-Buffer Tube Stripping
-Fiber Cleaving (Cutting)
-Nick Bend Test
Connector Installation
-Crimped Fiber (No Epoxy or Adhesive)
-Connector Assembly
-Connector Polishing
Endface Inspection
-Good Endface
-Bad Cleave
-Shattered Endface
-Incomplete Polishing
-Smeared Epoxy Film
-Polishing Particles
-Endface Contamination
-Non-Round Core
Connector Maintenance
-Polishing Usage Scratches

Chapter 10 Splicing Optical Fiber
Reasons for Splices
-Mid-Span Splice
-Pigtail Splice
Mechanical Splice
Fusion Splice
Spice Testing
Spice Enclosures
Spice Tray

Chapter 11 - Installing Optical Cable
Cable Safety
Cable Loading
Cable Pulling
-Pulling Load
-Conduit and Duct Lubricant
-Pulling Eye
-Pulling Rope and Pulling Tape
-Pulling Winch
-Cable Pay-Off Stand
-Cable Take-Up Reels
-Cable Pulleys and Slings
-Communication Equipment
-Signage and Safety Equipment
-Pull Boxes and End Boxes
Thermal Expansion and Contraction
-Strip Chart Recorder
Blown In Fiber
Bend Radius
Attaching Cable
Service Loops
Cable and Splice Enclosures
Aerial Installation
-Aerial Splice Enclosure
-Pole Mounted Splice Box
Cable Ducts
Burying Cable
-Cable Vault (Manhole)
Vertical Installation
Cable Racking
Cable Termination
-Cap or Water Seal
-Breakout Kit
Cable Installation and Maintenance Records
-As-Built Data Log
-Cable Labels

Chapter 12 - Optical Fiber Testing
Industry Optical Testing Standards
Optical Continuity Testing
Visual Fault Locator (VFL)
Stabilized Light Source
-Optical Mode Filtering
Insertion Loss
Optical Power Loss Testing
-Fiber Transmission Power Loss Testing
-WDM Power Loss Testing
Optical Return Loss (ORL)
Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR)
-OTDR Trace Analysis
-OTDR Cable Reel Test
-OTDR Connector Loss Measurement
-OTDR Cable Loss Calculation
-OTDR Transmission Line Testing
-OTDR Fault Location
-OTDR Short Range Testing
Optical Spectrum Analyzer (OSA)
Fiber Identification
Receiver Threshold Test
Bit Error Rate Test (BERT)
Fiber Acceptance Testing
Maintenance Records

About the Authors

Mr. Mr. Lawrence Harte is the president of Althos, an expert information provider which researches, trains, and publishes on technology and business industries. He has over 29 years of technology analysis, development, implementation, and business management experience. Mr. Harte has worked for leading companies including Ericsson/General Electric, Audiovox/Toshiba and Westinghouse and has consulted for hundreds of other companies. Mr. Harte continually researches, analyzes, and tests new communication technologies, applications, and services. He has authored over 50 books on telecommunications technologies and business systems covering topics such as mobile telephone systems, data communications, voice over data networks, broadband, prepaid services, billing systems, sales, and Internet marketing. Mr. Harte holds many degrees and certificates including an Executive MBA from Wake Forest University (1995) and a BSET from the University of the State of New York (1990).

Mr. Eckard is a design engineer with Alcatel. He has been with Alcatel since 1998 and has a decade's worth of experience in the networking and telecom field. He is an expert in passive optical networking protocols and was responsible for the development of both the BPON and GPON chipsets and the integration of these cores in communication processors for cost effective solutions. Prior to working on passive optical networks, Mr. Eckard designed other optical systems including SONET add-drop multiplexers and DS0/DS1 digital crossconnects. As a chip designer he has detailed knowledge of these different optical systems but has experience at solving system and network related problems. Mr. Eckard holds a BS in Computer Engineering, BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Computer Networking from North Carolina State University.


Fiber optic communication systems are used to provide high-speed communication connections. the need for high-capacity fiber systems has dramatically increased as a result of key broadband data applications and a much lower cost of sending information through fiber.

This book starts with the optical principles including wave theory and particle theory. the optical spectrum is explained along with the fundamentals of lightwave propagation. you will learn the principles of reflection and refraction and how they are used in optical systems.

Optical communication systems are composed of an optical transmitter, communication medium (fiber or air) and an optical receiver. an overview of the components and basic operation of synchronous optical network (sonet), synchronous digital hierarchy (sdh), fiber distributed data interface (fddi), passive optical networks (pon) and dense wave division multiplexing (dwdm) is provided. the common types of network equipment such as onu, adm, and optical switches are also described.

Optical transmitters and their sources of light are explained. you will learned how light emitting diodes (leds) and lasers provide suitable light sources for optical communication and how modulators and multiplexers modify light signals so they can send information.

The types of fiber optic cables and their characteristics are covered. you will learn how modal dispersion, material dispersion and cable bending affects the performance and ability of fiber cable to transfer light signals. the methods and devices used to couple light signals into and out of fiber cables are discussed along with the different types of optical connector types.

Optical receivers and their photodetection processes are described. the different types of photodetectors and their ability (sensitivity) to light signals are explained. you will discover how demodulators and demultiplexers operate to convert light signals into multiple channels and back into their original form.

Installation processes for installing optical equipment, cables and systems are described. you will learn the common methods of splicing fiber including mechanical and fusion (heat) methods. the tools and processes you need to install optical cable are described along with the methods used to pull and strip cables. you will learn about maximum pulling loads along with snort term and long term maximum bend ratios. in addition to installation, the key potential environmental hazards, chemicals that may be used, and some of the general safety precautions are discussed.

Optical fiber testing including continuity testing and measuring optical loss. discover how to use an optical time domain reflectometer (otdr) to identify the specific locations of breaks or distortions in fiber cable. learn the basic steps for fiber optic link and system acceptance testing. troubleshooting processes and tips are included to help you diagnose and repair equipment and link failures along with how to maintain maintenance records.

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