Advantages of Fiber
Why are fiber optic systems revolutionizing telecommunications?
conventional metal wire (copper wire), optical fibers are :
Because of these advantages, you see fiber optics in many industries, most
notably telecommunications and computer networks. For example, if you have ever
telephoned Europe from the United States or vice versa and the signal has been
bounced off a communications satellite,
you often hear an echo on the line. However, with transatlantic fiber optic
cables, you have a direct connection with no echoes.
- Thinner - optical fibers can be drawn to smaller diameters than
- Higher carrying capacity -
because optical fibers are thinner than
copper wires, more fibers can be bundled into a given
diameter cable than
copper wires. This allows more phone lines to go over the same cable or more
channels to come through the cable into your cable TV box.
- Less signal degradation -
the loss of signal in optical fiber is
less than in copper wire.
- Light signals - unlike electrical signals in copper wires, light
signals from one fiber do not interfere with those of other fibers in the
same cable. This means clearer phone conversations or TV reception.
- Low power -
because signals in optical fibers degrade less, lower
power transmitters can be used instead of high voltage electrical
transmitters for copper wires. Again, this saves your provider and you
- Digital signals -
optical fibers are ideally suited for carrying
digital information, especially useful in computer networks.
- Non-flammable - because no electricity is passed through optical
fibers, there is no fire hazard.
- Lightweight -
an optical cable weighs less than a comparable copper
wire cable. Fiber optic cables take up less space in the ground.
- Flexible - because fiber optics are so flexible and can transmit
and receive light, they are used in many flexible digital cameras for the following purposes:
- medical imaging -
in bronchoscopes, endoscopes, laparoscopes
- mechanical imaging - inspecting mechanical welds in pipes and
engines (in airplanes, rockets, space shuttles, and cars)
- plumbing - to inspect sewer lines