Fiber laying: Fiber optics refers to the technology of transmitting information using light that is carried through thin, transparent fibers made of glass or plastic. Fiber optic cables consist of one or more optical fibers that are encased in protective material and bundled together. These cables are used to transmit data over long distances at high speeds and with low signal loss, making them well-suited for high-bandwidth applications such as internet and cable TV service, telephone networks, and data centers. They also have many industrial, medical, and military uses.
How to survey for fiber laying
Surveying for the fiber laying involves several steps to ensure that the cable is installed correctly and efficiently. The steps include:
- Planning: This involves identifying the route that the cable will take, taking into account factors such as terrain, existing infrastructure, and potential obstacles.
- Site reconnaissance: This involves visiting the site to gather information about the route and to identify any potential issues that may affect the installation of the cable.
- Route mapping: This involves creating a detailed map of the route that the cable will take, including information on the location of existing infrastructure and potential obstacles.
- Permit and rights-of-way acquisition: This involves obtaining the necessary permits and rights-of-way to install the cable on the identified route.
- Soil testing: This involves testing the soil along the route to determine the suitability for installing the cable.
- Design and engineering: This involves designing the cable installation and engineering the details of the installation, such as the type and size of the cable and the method of installation.
- Construction: This involves installing the cable along the route, including trenching, plowing, or aerial installation as appropriate.
- Testing and commissioning: This involves testing the cable to ensure that it is functioning correctly and that it meets the required specifications.
- Maintenance: This involves regular monitoring and maintenance of the cable to ensure that it continues to function correctly and to identify any potential issues that may arise.
Splicing of fiber optics
Splicing fiber optic cables refers to the process of joining two or more fiber optic cables together to create a continuous connection. There are several methods used to splice fiber optic cables, including:
This involves using a mechanical connector to join the two fibers together. The connector aligns the fibers and holds them in place, allowing light to pass through the connection.
This involves using heat to fuse the two fibers together. The fibers are precisely aligned and then heated with an electric arc, which melts the ends of the fibers and causes them to fuse together.
This method is used to splice multiple fibers together at once. The fibers are arranged in a ribbon and then spliced together using one of the above methods.
This method is used when the fiber is terminated with a connector in the field instead of at the factory. This method involves stripping the jacket and coating, cleaving the fiber, and then polishing the end face of the fiber before inserting it into the connector.
Whichever method is chosen, splicing fiber optic cables requires specialized equipment and skilled technicians to ensure that the fibers are properly aligned and that the splice is strong and reliable.
It’s also important to note that after splicing, the continuity and performance of the spliced fibers need to be tested using an optical loss test set (OLTS) to ensure the splice loss is within the acceptable range.
Testing of fiber optics
Testing fiber optic cables is an important step in ensuring that they are functioning correctly and meeting the required specifications. There are several types of tests that can be performed on fiber optic cables, including:
This test is used to verify that there is a continuous connection between the two ends of the cable. A continuity tester sends a signal through the cable and verifies that it reaches the other end.
End-to-end attenuation testing:
This test is used to measure the amount of loss (attenuation) in the signal as it travels through the cable. This is typically measured in decibels (dB).
Optical loss test set (OLTS):
This test is used to measure the amount of loss (attenuation) in the signal as it travels through the cable. It is usually done after splicing to ensure the splice loss is within the acceptable range
Insertion loss testing:
This test is used to measure the amount of loss (attenuation) caused by the connector. This test is usually done after the connector is installed to ensure the connector loss is within the acceptable range.
Return loss testing:
This test is used to measure the amount of light reflected back into the cable. High return loss is desirable as it indicates a good-quality connector or splice.
Chromatic dispersion testing:
This test is used to measure the amount of dispersion (spread) of different wavelengths of light in the cable.
Polarization mode dispersion testing:
This test is used to measure the amount of dispersion caused by the different polarization modes in the cable.
This test is used to measure the amount of loss caused by macro bending in the cable. This test is usually done after the cable is installed to ensure the cable can withstand the bend radius requirement.
All of these tests require specialized equipment and skilled technicians to perform, and the results are used to ensure that the cable is functioning correctly and that it meets the required specifications.
Also read: What Is Optical Fibre Cable