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Fibre Optics - Essay Example

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Fibre Optics

This essay aims at scrutinizing what authentic technical literature has to say on the issue of integrating fiber optics in the aircraft systems in addition to contemplating the theory of light in relation to optical fibers as a way of illuminating exactly how the idea to transmit light through a thin fiber made of glass or plastic originated. The application of optical fibers in fiber-optic communication will also be discussed to evaluate how they allow transmission over longer distances at higher speeds as compared to other communication media. Theory of light relevant to fiber optics While ray theory best explains the light transmission and guiding properties of optical fibers, mode theory works to explain the behavior of light within a fiber. Ray theory basically serves to describe the direction taken by a plane wave inside a fiber (Einstein College of Engineering n.d.). According to ray theory, there are two types of rays which are carried by an optical fiber namely meridional and skew rays both of which stand in contrast to each other in context of the course they take inside a fiber. While meridional rays pass through the axis of a fiber, the skew rays journey through a fiber without passing through its central axis. Also literature suggests that “the acceptance angle for skew rays is larger than the acceptance angle of meridional rays” (Einstein College of Engineering n.d). The light capacity of a fiber is enhanced when skew rays are added to meridional rays. But it is argued that as “skew rays tend to propagate near the edge of the fiber core” (Einstein College of Engineering n.d.), so the addition results in entrapment of a large number of skew rays in the fiber core made of thin glass. “A large portion of the number of skew rays that are trapped in the fiber core are considered to be leaky rays” (Einstein College of Engineering, n.d.). Construction of fiber optic cables Fiber optic cables basically consist of three parts namely the core, the cladding, and the coating which are also referred to as the triple C’s. Though light has been shown to propagate along the fiber core even without the aid of cladding, it is suggested that cladding made of plastic or glass has its share of important functions like improving mechanical strength, reducing the loss of light into the surrounding during transmission course and protecting the fiber against many surface contaminants to smooth the process of transmission. Buffer or the coating forms the outermost layer which serves to lend extra durability and strength to an optical fiber as a way of protecting it against physical harm (Freudenrich, 2012). It is important to remember that the core is essentially made of glass, the cladding layer is made up of either plastic or glass, and plastic is used as a preferred material for the buffer.   Basic fiber optic theory  As mentioned earlier, mode theory along with ray theory is used to explain the propagation and behavior of light in an optical fiber. Mode theory also largely serves to explain the issue of leaky ray loss caused by the addition of skew rays to a fiber’s core. It also suggests that a light wave can be referred to as a plan wave or a wavefront when travelling through an optical fiber and such wave is described by “its direction, amplitude, and wavelength of propagation” (Einstein Colleg ...Show more


Fiber Optics Introduction People hear about fiber optic cables all the time in the present world especially when dealing with internet, cable system, or television set related issues but not everyone knows exactly a great deal about their history, construction, application, types, and integration in the aviation industry…
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