Optical Fiber - A Source of Revenue for Energy & Utilities Companies

Posted by Kevin Miller on Wed, Oct 13, 2021 @ 10:10 AM

Along with being highly regulated, energy and electric utilities companies have faced a transitioning business model with declining electricity use resulting from increased competition, distributed generation, and growing use of renewable sources like solar and wind. Consumers ultimately have more choices now than in past years, making it more challenging for these companies to achieve their revenue growth and profitability goals.

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Topics: optical fiber, fiber monitoring, electric utilities, broadband service, gas and electric

Importance of OTDR Training

Posted by Charlie Byrd on Wed, Sep 1, 2021 @ 08:09 AM

When fiber optic field technicians need to test the integrity of a fiber optic cable, they use an Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) device that identifies and pinpoints issues like breaks/faults and poor splices, while also certifying the cable length.  To find and resolve issues in the fiber cable quickly and efficiently, it’s critical that they not only have a reliable OTDR device, but just as importantly know how to use it properly in terms of selecting the necessary settings and interpreting the results correctly.  This is achieved by receiving thorough training in the classroom prior to heading out into the field.

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Topics: fiber optic testing, otdr

Radiation Hardened Optical Fiber

Posted by Gary Miller on Wed, Aug 18, 2021 @ 09:08 AM

Radiation hardened fibers are designed to handle applications and environments where there is greater exposure to radiation and the need for reliable data transmission in those settings. Circumstances where the potential of high levels of radiation exist include nuclear power plants or other nuclear-powered apparatus such as submarines, along with space applications, and high energy physics facilities. Optical fiber plays a critical role in each of these environments providing data transmission, gyroscopes, temperature sensing or diagnostics.

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Topics: optical fiber

Practical Applications of Graded Index Multimode Fiber

Posted by Jonathan Benfield on Tue, Aug 3, 2021 @ 09:08 AM

Communications engineers face many complicated decisions when selecting the most appropriate type of fiber optic cabling for their specific needs. Should the fiber be single mode or multimode? If it is multimode, should it be step index fiber or graded index? Those are just two of the multitude of questions that need to be answered when selecting the best fiber solution.

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Topics: optical fiber, multimode fiber

Simulating Multi-Fiber and MPO Cable Links

Posted by Kevin Miller on Tue, Jun 15, 2021 @ 12:06 PM

In today’s advanced fiber optic networks, multi-fiber cabling is utilized both inside data centers and across vast field networks as it provides the most efficient approach for deploying large counts of fibers using as little physical space as possible.  At the most basic level, a multi-fiber cable is typically comprised of a ribbon cable surrounded by a protective outer jacketing.  These ribbon and/or multi-fiber cables are available with number options when it comes to fiber counts (ex: 8, 12, 24, etc)

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Topics: network simulation

Understanding Submarine Optical Fibers

Posted by Kevin Miller on Tue, May 11, 2021 @ 08:05 AM

We’ve recently written about the importance of simulating submarine fiber networks in a lab environment for testing and training purposes, while highlighting the history and shifting investment dynamic in this arena.  A visit to Submarine Cable Map offers an interactive view of the breadth of fiber cabling crisscrossing the oceans of the world, demonstrating its critical importance to global communications.

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Topics: optical fiber

Key Differences Between Single Mode and Multimode Optical Fibers

Posted by Kevin Miller on Mon, Apr 26, 2021 @ 08:04 AM

When utilizing optical fibers for high-speed communications applications, there two primary categories that fibers are grouped into, based on their construction and intended applications. In this article, we will review both Single Mode and Multimode optical fiber classifications, providing a quick introduction to both types and their key differences.

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Topics: optical fiber, multimode fiber, single mode fiber

What is Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM)?

Posted by Jonathan Benfield on Tue, Apr 20, 2021 @ 08:04 AM

What is Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM)?

WDM is a technology approach that allows for the combining ("mux") of multiple individual light wavelengths (signals/channels) from multiple lasers on a single fiber using a passive component for transmission to another location. At that receiving location, WDM components then work in the reverse, demultiplexing ("demux") the combined wavelengths back into individual signals and routed to their respective receivers.  

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Topics: WDM

Popular Single Mode Optical Fibers

Posted by Kevin Miller on Wed, Apr 14, 2021 @ 10:04 AM

Single Mode optical fibers are frequently deployed in fiber optic communications systems,  as their design makes them the ideal choice for network links ranging from just a few hundred meters to thousands of kilometers in distance.  With several global manufacturers leading the market offering fibers to meet ITU-T industry standards, in this article we will quickly review some of the most common and popular single mode fibers that are being designed into networks today. 

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Topics: single mode fiber

How to Equalize Data Center Link Latency and Synchronization

Posted by Kevin Miller on Thu, Feb 11, 2021 @ 07:02 AM

With the explosive growth of global bandwidth demands, data centers and service providers have been busy adding new fiber infrastructure, interconnects, and upgrading their systems and hardware to newer and faster technology. As part of this, both latency and optical signal synchronization are critical factors that engineering teams must manage in order to maximize performance and support their customers across various industries.  

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Topics: latency