A fiber optic coupler is an indispensable part of the world of electrical devices. Without these no signals would be transmitted or converted from inputs to outputs. This is the reason these are so important thereby this article discussed about these, introduction, classification and benefits in detail.
Fiber Optic Coupler is an optical cog that is capable of connecting single or multiple fiber ends in order to permit the broadcast of light waves in manifold paths. This optical device is also capable of coalescing two or more inputs into a single output while dividing a single input into two or more outputs. In comparison to a connector or a splice, the signals may be even more attenuated by FOC i.e. Fiber Optic Couplers; this is due to the division of input signal amongst the output ports.
Types of Fiber Optic Coupler
Fiber Optic Couplers are broadly classified into two, the active or passive devices. For the operation of active fiber coupler an external power source is required, conversely no power is needed when it comes to operate the passive fiber optic couplers.
Fiber Optic Couplers can be of different types for instance X couplers, PM Fiber Couplers, combiners, stars, splitters and trees etc. Let’s discuss the function of each of the type of the Fiber Optic Couplers:
Combiners: This type of Fiber Optic Coupler combines two signals and yields single output.
Splitters: These supply multiple (two) outputs by using the single optical signal. The splitters can be categorized into T couplers and Y couplers, with the former having an irregular power distribution and latter with equal power allocation.
Tree Couplers: The Tree couplers execute both the functions of combiners as well as splitters in just one device. This categorization is typically based upon the number of inputs and outputs ports. These are either single input with a multi-output or multi-input with a single output.
PM Coupler: This stands for Polarization Maintaining Fiber Coupler. It is a device which either coalesces the luminosity signals from two PM fibers into a one PM fiber, or splits the light rays from the input PM fiber into multiple output PM fibers. Its applications include PM fiber interferometers, signal monitoring in its systems, and also power sharing in polarization sensitive systems etc.
Star Coupler: The role of star coupler is to distribute power from the inputs to the outputs.
Benefits of Fiber Optical Couplers
There are several benefits of using fiber optic couplers. Such as:
Low excess loss,
Dual operating window,
Low polarization dependent loss,
High directivity and Stumpy insertion loss.
The listed benefits of Fiber Optical Couplers make them ideal for many applications for instance community antenna networks, optical communication systems and fiber-to-home technology etc.