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Optical fibre cables

Optical fibres are used to transmit information over long distances and with high bit rates. Their benefits are numerous. First, the signal transmitted on the fibre is not disturbed by any electromagnetic wave created by power cables or electric machines. It also provides more security, as these cables can be fully dielectric. Furthermore, they are lightweight and space-saving due to their small diameter.

Cable
Fiber build-up

An optical fibre is made up of three main parts: the core, the cladding and the coating.

The centre part, the core, is made of doped silica and is surrounded by the cladding, made of natural silica. The light signal propagates along the core and the signal is reflected on the surface between the core and the cladding. An acrylic coating, usually consisting of two layers, is protecting the silica part against abrasion during the installation.

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Multimode fibres

Fibre that has a core diameter large enough for the light used to find multiple paths is called 'multimode' fibre.
Multimode fibres are mainly used for Local Area Networks (LAN) where the links can be up to 2000meter using LED based fibre optic transmission equipment
Multimode fibres have a graded index profile to increase the bandwidth and consequently the authorized bit rate up to 10Gbit/s. The large size of the core is interesting for easy connection and does not require high cost test equipment.

Multimode Graded Index

 

Single Mode fibres

If the fibre core is very narrow compared to the wavelength of the light in use then the light cannot travel in different modes and thus the fibre is called 'single mode' or 'monomode'.
Single mode fibres are able to transmit over longer distances using laser diode based fibre optic transmission equipment.
The installation requires expertise as they have a smaller core of 9 microns. This implies more precise connectors and more skilled tests

Single Mode

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