What Is Fiber Characterization and Why Is It Important?

Posted by Kevin Miller on Mon, Sep 19, 2022 @ 12:09 PM

Are you thinking about upgrading your fiber optic network? Will your existing optical fiber infrastructure support the devices and services you plan to run? Could your organization benefit from having updated information about your fiber performance and inventory? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, fiber characterization testing will help you gather the necessary data. 

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Topics: optical fiber, single mode fiber, fiber optic cable

Fiber Optic Cable: Buyer's Guide

Posted by Kevin Miller on Mon, Sep 19, 2022 @ 11:09 AM

 

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Topics: fiber optic testing, optical fiber, fiber optic training, fiber optic cable

The Optical Fiber Market in 2022 and Beyond

Posted by Kevin Miller on Wed, Aug 10, 2022 @ 16:08 PM

The Optical Fiber Market in 2022 and Beyond

The global fiber optic cable market has been significantly growing in recent years to support the rising demand by businesses and consumers for internet-based communications and services. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend over the past few years, as network operators have been adding more gear and capacity to support remote work, cloud-based service, streaming video, IoT, and 5G wireless technology use. In 2022, some estimate the market is expected to grow by 35.1%, from $66.54 billion in 2021 to $89.91 billion. By 2026, the market could reach $227.54 billion at a 26.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to ReportLinker.

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Topics: optical fiber, Optical fiber market

The Role of Fiber Optic Technology in Cloud Computing

Posted by Kevin Miller on Wed, Aug 10, 2022 @ 15:08 PM

The Role of Fiber Optic Technology in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a trending technology driven by the concept of utilizing internet-based, managed IT resources instead of maintaining the hardware and software components locally or on-site. A cloud computing infrastructure essentially creates a virtual enterprise IT environment consisting of software-defined components and computing power, storage, and network capabilities. This virtual infrastructure does what a physical infrastructure does and more, as it helps reduce costs and complexity while optimizing and centralizing data storage, management, and processing.

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Topics: fiber optic testing, optical fiber

4 Top Fiber Optic Testing FAQs

Posted by Kevin Miller on Tue, Aug 9, 2022 @ 09:08 AM

4 Top Fiber Optic Testing FAQs

With the rapid evolution of technology, high-speed communications systems are essential for enabling telecom service providers to deliver large amounts of content around the world. The demand for faster speeds and more bandwidth is rising and optical fiber cables, which allow for the transfer of data using light signals, serve as the primary medium in these networks.

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Topics: fiber optic testing, optical fiber

Designing Fiber Optic Testing Labs of the Future

Posted by Kevin Miller on Mon, Jul 4, 2022 @ 15:07 PM

Designing Fiber Optic Testing Labs of the Future

 

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Topics: fiber optic testing, optical fiber, fiber lab

How To Impress Visitors With Your Fiber Optic Testing Lab

Posted by Kevin Miller on Thu, Jun 9, 2022 @ 03:06 AM

Impress Visitors With Your Fiber Optic Testing Lab

In addition to serving as an important workspace, today’s fiber optic testing labs often host visitors like potential customers or technology partners for demonstrations. As a result, the appearance of the lab is important and can influence a visitor’s perception of the company. A crowded or disorganized lab is not only challenging for engineers to use, but it can also result in a negative impression or leave questions in one’s mind: If things are this disorganized, can I trust the results I’m seeing? Are projects completely efficient? This is especially the case if a visitor was recently at a competitor’s lab that spared no expense in terms of making an effort to maintain a top-notch lab space.

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Topics: fiber optic testing, optical fiber, network simulation

What Is the Difference Between OTDR and OLTS?

Posted by Kevin Miller on Fri, Mar 18, 2022 @ 16:03 PM

What Is the Difference Between OTDR and OLTS?

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Topics: optical fiber, otdr

How to Calculate Fiber Latency

Posted by Kevin Miller on Thu, Mar 10, 2022 @ 11:03 AM
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Topics: optical fiber, latency

Fusion or Mechanical: Which Is the Best Splicing Method?

Posted by John Kornegay on Wed, Feb 2, 2022 @ 09:02 AM

The act of joining two individual lengths of optical fiber to create a secure connection is called splicing. There are currently two common splicing methods that can be utilized - fusion splicing and mechanical splicing. While both processes share similar initial steps, the differ substantially thereafter in terms of the approach and necessary materials, while producing different results.

With this being the case, how might one choose which path to take? Is one method considered better than the other? In this brief article, we take a closer look at both the fusion and mechanical splicing methods to provide some clarity on the subject. At the conclusion, you should have better idea about how each method works, the benefits and drawbacks of each, and which uses cases or applications are more suited to one or the other.

 
Figure 1: Fusion Splicer machine close-up

Defining Mechanical & Fusion Splicing

The ultimate goal of cable splicing is to create a secure connection between two or more sections of fiber in a way that allows the optical signal to pass through with minimal loss. As we mentioned already, both mechanical and fusion splicing achieve this goal, but they do so in very different ways.

Fusion Splicing

Fusion splicing involves heating the ends of each fiber that are being joined and fusing them together permanently. Because this process requires near-perfect alignment of the fibers and their respective cores, along with fusing the glass together in a precise manner, this is accomplished using a fusion splicer device. The device effectively aligns the two fiber ends, melts the glass via an electric arc, then fuses them together. Because of the resulting splice point in the length of fiber, either a heat-shrinkable protective splice sleeve or a coating material is typically placed over the splice point to give the splice more strength and durability.

Mechanical Splicing

The primary way that mechanical splicing differs from fusion splicing is that it is a manual process that does not permanently fuse or join the fibers together, instead it locks and aligns the fiber ends together with a screw mechanism in a splice case. This method requires no heat or electricity and is performed manually by a technician using the required tools and components.

Fusion Splicing Steps - A Quick Overview

For both fusion and mechanical splicing techniques, there are four distinct steps to the process. The first two steps for each are virtually identical which are covered in this section, but the final two are where the differences come into play.

Fusion Splicing and Mechanical Splicing Step 1 - Fiber / Cable Preparation

To prepare the end of a fiber cable for splicing, a few inches of the protective jacketing, buffer tubing, and coating must be stripped away in order to access the bare glass fiber. After using a handheld stripping tool to remove these layers, the bare fiber is now accessible, which should then be cleaned quickly with an alcoholic wipe to remove any dirt or dust.

Fusion Splicing and Mechanical Splicing Step 2 - Cleaving

Once the bare fiber is prepared, the next step involves cleaving the end fiber, which shouldn’t be confused with cutting. Cleaving is when the fiber is lightly scored with a sharp blade and then flexed until it naturally breaks. To create an ideal connection point for a fusion or a mechanical splice, a clean and smooth cleave that is perpendicular to the fiber is absolutely necessary. The example image below shows examples of poor cleaves on the left and good cleaves on the right:

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Topics: optical fiber, mechanical splice, fusion splice