Fiber Optic Cable Uses

Written by andrew richard
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Fiber Optic Cable Uses
Fibre optic cables find uses in telecommunication, medicine, industry and science. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Fibre optic cables are tubes of glass that find a host of uses in a variety of fields. Fibre optics have become increasingly more integrated into networks where they facilitate telecommunication applications. Since these cables are flexible and inert, they are often used in medicine during surgeries as light guides and imaging tools. Fibre optic cables are also used in industrial settings for imaging locations that are difficult to reach through conventional means.

Telecommunication Uses

Fibre optic cables have made excellent mediums for telecommunication networks due to their flexibility and durability. Unlike electrical cables, signals transmitted using fibre optics experience relatively little loss of intensity, allowing them to transport information far distances with few repeaters. Fibre optic cables can carry a large number of different signals simultaneously through a technique called wavelength division multiplexing. This increases their efficiency and makes them ideal for transporting large quantities of independent signals. Their effectiveness if further helped by their immunity to electrical interference.

Fiber Optic Cable Uses
Fibre optic cables form the backbone of digital telecommunication. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Biomedical Applications

Fibre optic cables are found in hospitals and doctor's offices around the world. They form the backbone of advanced imaging techniques used in digital diagnostics since they can efficiently transport large quantities of sensitive data. Since fibre optical cables are inert, they introduce no risk of infection. Their flexibility make fibre optic cables the natural choice for endoscopes used in minimally invasive surgical procedures. The rise of endoscopy has replaced invasive exploratory surgery in diagnosing difficult medical conditions.

Fiber Optic Cable Uses
Fibre optic cables have revolutionised endoscopy. (Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Fibre Optic Cable Sensors

Fibre optic cables sensors are used to measure a variety of physical properties such as mechanical strain, temperature, and pressure. Their small size allows them to be used in locations that are difficult to reach. Some fibre optic sensors measure these properties directly by using modulated light. Other sensors employ fibre optics as carriers to bring light from hostile environments to sensitive sensors located in more secure positions. One example is the fibre optic gyroscope, which can detect mechanical rotation without any moving parts.

Fibre Optic Lasers

Fibre optic cables make convenient lasers since they are small and flexible. Cables used in lasing require the addition of rare earth elements like erbium. The fibre must be optically pumped using a separate laser, which is coupled into the optical cable. The fibre optic laser has many advantages that outweigh these limitations. The high intensity light can be transmitted substantial distances without much loss of power. The flexibility and durability of the fibre optic cable allow the laser to be brought into hazardous environments where conventional lasers would be unable to operate.

Fiber Optic Cable Uses
Fibre optic cables allow lasers to be used in hazardous environments (Jupiterimages/ Images)

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