How will fiber optics save the world?

Technology is often created to improve our life, making it easier and better, but sometimes the progresses affect our world, which is why telecom department is getting greener and greener replacing old school copper wires with fiber optic technologies.
Fiber optic offers a lot of advantages over copper cables, from faster Internet connection to the fact that fiber networks don’t need to be changed once installed because companies upgrade them by changing the technology that creates the electronic light pulses and not by replacing the fiber cables.
Furthermore, glass fiber optics are being used in so many fields besides telecommunication, because they offer lighting possibilities to medicine, light therapies and the automotive industry.
Now, did you know that fiber optic cables have some environmental benefits?
First of all, fiber optic cable systems waste less energy than coaxial cable systems. Investigations show that coaxial cables consume 3.5 watts to transmit data over 100 meters, while fiber optic systems just use even less than 1 watt to conduct light pulses over 300 meters.
 Less energy means less generated heat, therefore fiber optic cables don’t need cooling systems to spend excess of energy to cool down the data and keep it at an appropriate temperature. This means that less air conditioning tools are needed, saving equipment and floor space.
Saving energy helps reducing CO2 emissions, fiber optic cables release just 7g of carbon dioxide for every Gigabits of data. According to a study made by Ecobilan in 2008, by installing fiber optic technology, in 30 years telecommunications businesses could reduce carbon dioxide emissions in 30 million tons just in Europe and that’s Fibre to the Home Council Europe’s plan.
Another benefit is that fiber-optic communication cables can be installed under oceans, needing fewer resources than underground terrestrial cable systems.
Since 2003, the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) has taken care that electrical and electronic equipment don’t contain more than agreed levels of heavy metals such as Lead, Mercury, Cadmium and Hexavalent Chromium, known for causing several diseases such as anemia or kidney damage and contaminating the environment.
RoSH also looks that the use of Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB) and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE), both Brominated Flame Retardants.
Fiber optic developing companies understand RoSH health and environmental concerns and they work to make fiber-optic systems more and more eco-friendly.
Less copper, more safety
But, how exactly will fiber optic save the world?
Coaxial cables are made of copper. And it is no secret for anybody that this metal’s extraction is highly contaminating and even dangerous.
According to University of Virginia Faculty Web copper mining affects the vegetation, water and biological life near the mining zones, due to the acid mine drainage caused by the oxidation of metal sulfides. Badly affected areas aren’t even able to sustain life. And not to talk about the damage suffered by humans, long exposure to this reddish-orange metal can cause lung cancer and heart diseases.
Also, let’s not forget the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped for more than two months in a gold and copper mine in Copiapó, Chile after the mine caved in. Rescue cost was of 20 million dollars and some of them suffered diseases like Silicosis, pneumonia and dental infections.
Nevertheless, fiber optic is made of a very pure glass and this glass is basically made from Silicon Dioxide, the second most abundant element on Earth after Oxygen. Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) is the principal component of sand and it also can be found in rocks, clay and even water, so planet is no running out of it anytime soon.
The process of extracting Silicon from silica sand consists in removing oxygen from it, by heating a mix of silica and carbon in a temperature higher than 2.000ºC.
Companies taking green action
In July TELUS, a Canadian national telecom company, announced it had installed a 150km fiber optic network in Northern Vancouver Island, allowing schools, hospitals and businesses to have access to faster Internet. They even brought high speed internet to Kwakwaka’wakw communities that didn’t have Internet at all.
After four years of preliminary engineering and environmental reviews, TELUS decided to use specialized equipment that allowed to open narrow but deep trenches where the fiber optics was deployed, avoiding road-side logging saving thousands of trees.
The globally operating telecommunication company Telefonica announced they are planning to completely change the 6.600 copper networks they have in Spain to fiber-optic networks by 2020. They pretend to install super fast broadband in every Spanish city with more than 1000 habitants.
President Obama understood that Internet access is a necessity, so ConnectHome was created, a program that along with communities, private companies like Google and federal government will provide broadband Internet to 275.000 low-income households.
Programs like Fiber To The Home, Building or Neighborhood are being implemented by governments and telecommunications companies in several countries because high-speed Internet is the future and they know the future needs to be eco-friendly.
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Why distances matters in fiber optics?

It’s a well-known fact that fiber optics is the way most of the IT infrastructure service companies currently transmit information. It makes sense if you bear in mind that it allows information and data to travel at greater speeds, through greater distances, and in never-before-seen bundles.
Fiber optics also allows these companies to be insured against the future in terms of bandwidth. The amount of data that travels through these conduits is massive and it will only increase through time. Making sure your networks can endure the load now and in years to come is one of the many perks of fiber optics.
Electrical interference of any kind doesn’t faze fiber optics either, making it the best choice for networks that are data-sensitive and handle security issues. This also gives it an extra ounce of reliability which relieves a lot of the worry in terms of maintenance and upkeep.
Choosing the proper fiber optic cable to fit your needs may seem like a daunting task but it really isn’t. Just invest some time to do the necessary research beforehand and you´ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble as well as money.
For Starters,
If you are looking to perfect and/or enhance the build-out of your network through fiber optics, start by doing an in-depth assessment of your current and future needs. Knowing for sure how your networks will be used and for what is essential for this evaluation since it will allow you to properly and accurately select the type of fiber you might need depending on the application.
For example, let’s say you are looking to upgrade the backbone of your network you will more than likely need a cable which differs completely from what you might need if you are looking to install security and surveillance cameras in a given location.
Some other points to consider when selecting the fiber optic solution that best fits your needs are:
Distances of transmission: you must be fully cognizant of the distances that the information you will handle must travel. This is crucial in determining what type of cable best suits you.
Current and future bandwidth requirements: consider the amount and type of data and information that will cruise through these cables. Nobody wants a slow network, right?
Network architecture: the way your entire network (hardware, software, communication and connectivity protocols and modes of transmission) is laid out should be taken into consideration when selecting your fiber optics.
Distances
Fiber optic cables are the wisest choice over copper cables which have been traditionally used until recently. It can most definitely support many further distances of input travel than its metal counterpart but the exact distance is difficult to determine as it is limited by a plurality of factors.
This is a vital issue for optical communications since it prides itself in being super-fast (as it indeed is) putting data transmission distance under the spotlight.
The signal transmitting the information from point A to point B may possibly weaken if the distance is very long. There are many methods that can be applied and components that can be used to diminish the limitations inflicted by optical transmission distance.
Basically, the amount of data or information that can be transmitted through a cable in a fixed or given amount of time is called bandwidth. If it’s referring to a website, for example, bandwidth determines the quantity of information and the level of traffic that can transfer between the site, its users, and the Internet as a whole which is why web hosting companies are prone to offer maximum levels of bandwidth as part of their hosting packages.
 What to look for?
Fast connections and great company CRM that offer the best-in-class of terms of networks, connections, and systems. It stands to reason that the more width of a band that the company can provide, the faster and more efficient your network or site will be in those three categories.
In the digital realm, bandwidth is commonly expressed in bits per second (bps) or bytes per second. Don´t mistake one for the other, though. Both are units used to measure information storage amounts and both have very similar acronyms (Mb and MB) but there is a big difference that can have major repercussions on your network‘s performance levels: one byte is made up of 8 bits.
In terms of data transmission, the distance it can travel decreases proportionally to any bandwidth increase and it’s measured in Hertz (Hz).
While bits and bytes determine the amount of data that given devices can storage, a Hertz is a unit of frequency that can indicate how often an action is done. If something is said to be 120 Hertz then that something has a repetition frequency of 120 times in one second.
When dealing with fiber optics, here’s more or less how it works: a fiber cable that can support 800 MHz bandwidth throughout a distance of 1 kilometer will only be able to support 400 MHz at 2 kilometers and 200 MHz at 5 kilometers.
Types of Fiber Optic Cables
There are two types of well–known optical fiber cables and each has their own set of unique qualities and characteristics: single-mode and multi-mode.
Before we continue, let’s clarify what dispersion is: it is basically the spreading over time of the signal that carries the data through the cables.
There’s chromatic dispersion in which the signal spreads over time due to the action of different speeds of light rays and there’s modal dispersion, in which case the signal is spread out through time as a consequence of the different modes of propagation used in the optic fiber.
Single mode optical fiber usually has an 8.3-micron diameter core and makes use of laser technology and light to send and receive data. A micron is a unit of measure equal to 1 millionth of a meter. So you can picture it: one strand of human hair has a diameter of more or less 100 microns.
So single mode fibers have the ability to carry information for miles without losing too many data which makes it ideal for companies that offer services such as cable and telephone providers.
Transmission distance is affected by chromatic dispersion because the core of single-mode fibers is much smaller than that of multimode fibers. And it is also the reason why single-mode fiber can have longer transmission distance than multimode fiber.
High powered lasers operating within single mode optical fibers lend it its efficiency since they can readily transmit data at far greater distances than the light used in their multimode counterparts.
If you need to handle large amounts of data with the least dispersion, single mode fiber might be your best choice. Just take into consideration that these fibers are noticeably more expensive than multimode ones since the technology used is a bit more sophisticated.
Multimode
Multimode optical fiber, as its very name indicates, allows the signal to travel through different pathways or modes that are placed inside of the cable’s core. For these types of fibers, the transmission distance is largely affected by modal dispersion.
Due to the fact that the fibers in multimode cables have imperfections, the optical signals are not able to arrive at the same time causing a delay between the fastest traveling modes and the slowest ones, which in turn causes the dispersion and limits multimode fiber performance.
This type of fiber uses inexpensive LED (light emitting diode) light sources to transmit data. The signal travels through an LED-based optical transmitter called a media converter, then down the glass in the fiber and bounces from wall to wall within the cable until it reaches its final destination at a rate of 10 or 100 Mb/sec but all that bouncing brings modal dispersion to the mix, diminishing the amount of data transmitted over a specific distance.
The demand for more data and faster reception of it has increased over the years making LED cables seem terribly slow and limited. This caused the creation of cables that use lasers to transmit data along with light, giving the world single mode optic fibers.
Multimode fibers can be found in 4 different presentations identified with the acronym OM which stands for optical multi-mode and varies according to performance criteria determined by ISO/IEC 11801 standards. These presentations are OM1, OM2, OM3, and OM4.

Why you use the unit "micron" in Fiber Optics?

The micrometer (μm) also commonly known as a micron, is an SI derived unit of length equaling 1×10−6 of a metre, that is, one millionth of a meter.
The micrometer is a common unit of measurement for wavelengths of infrared radiation as well as sizes of biological cells and bacteria, and for grading wool by the diameter of the fibers. The width of a single human hair ranges from approximately 10 to 200 μm. The first and longest human chromosome is approximately 10μm in length.
The term micron and the symbol μ were officially accepted for use in isolation to denote the micrometer in 1879, but officially revoked by the International System of Units (SI) in 1967.
This became necessary because the older usage was incompatible with the official adoption of the unit prefix micro-, denoted μ, during the creation of the SI in 1960. In the SI, the systematic name micrometer became the official name of the unit, and μm became the official unit symbol.
In American English the use of “micron” helps differentiate the unit from the micrometre, a measuring device, because the unit’s name in mainstream American spelling is a homograph of the device’s name. In spoken English, they may be distinguished by pronunciation, as the name of the measuring device is invariably stressed on the second syllable, whereas the systematic pronunciation of the unit name, in accordance with the convention for pronouncing SI units in English, places the stress on the first syllable.
The plural of micron is normally “microns”, though “micra” was occasionally used before 1950.
Microns and Fiber Optic
Microns are present in fiber optic. The two basic types of fiber are multimode and single mode. In these categories, fibers are identified by the diameters of their core and their cladding expressed in microns (one billionth of a meter), for example, multimode fiber of 50/125 microns. Most fibers have 125 microns of outer diameter (one micron is one millionth of a meter, and 125 microns is 0.0127 centimeters) barely a little larger than a human hair.
These terms refer to the diameter of microns of a fiber optic cable’s core and cladding.
The first set of numbers – 9, 50 and 62.5 refer to the diameter of the fiber cable’s core.
The second set of numbers – 125 refer to the diameter of the outside of the fiber cable’s cladding.
The cladding is a special coating that keeps the light from escaping the glass core.
9/125 refers to a single mode fiber cable. 50/125 and 62.5/125 refer to multimode fiber cable.
Conclusion
The answer is very simple. The microns are present in fiber optic because their small size, this way is easier to elaborate the cable and to adopt and standard for the entire world.

Why you should care about better fiber optics?

Doing some research online we found this article in the Fhys.org Website, The original article was delivered by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Fiber optic research can give us better medical equipment, improved environmental monitoring, more media channels—and maybe better solar panels.
“Optical fibres are remarkably good at transmitting signals without much loss in the transfer,” says Professor Ursula Gibson at NTNU’s Department of Physics.
However: “Glass fibres are good up to a wavelength of about 3 microns. More than that, and they’re not so good,” she says.
And that is sometimes problematic. Telecom uses the near-infrared part of the wave spectrum because it has the least loss of energy when passing through the glass.
But if we could utilize even longer wavelengths, the benefits would include better medical diagnoses and more precise environmental monitoring of airborne gas particles. Longer wavelengths could also mean more space for media channels since the competition is fierce for the wavelengths where free space transmission normally takes place now.
Optical glass fibres are not made of pure glass, but require a core with a bit of some other material to transmit signals.
This is clearly quite complicated to achieve, and the methods have gradually been perfected over the last 50 years.At NTNU, various research groups have been experimenting with optical fibres using a semiconductor core of silicon (Si) and gallium antimonide (GaSb) instead of small amounts of germanium oxide, which is used in silica fibres now. Some of the researchers’ latest research findings have now been presented in Nature Communications.
Ph.D. candidate Seunghan Song is the first author of the article in the prestigious journal. The article “describes a method for making optical fibers were part of the core that is gallium antimonide, which can emit infrared light. Then the fiber is laser treated to concentrate the antimonide,” says Gibson.
This process is carried at room temperature. The laser processing affects the properties of the core.
Silicon is well known as the most commonly used material in solar panels. Along with oxygen, silicon is the most common material in glass and glass fiber cables as well.
Gallium antimonide is less typical, although others have also used the same composition in optical instruments. But not in the same way.
With the new method, the gallium antimonide is initially distributed throughout the silicon. This is a simpler and cheaper method than others to grow crystals, and the technology offers many possible applications.
“Our results are first and foremost a step towards opening up a larger portion of the electromagnetic wave spectrum for optical fiber transmission,” Gibson says.
Learning about the fundamental properties of the semiconductor materials in glass fibers allows us to make more efficient use of rare resources like gallium.

Have You Chosen the Right Cables Ties?

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

You can frequently find racks, frames or panels in the cabling system. They are necessary components for cable management. However, sometimes you may easily forget about a small but helpful tool for cable management – that is cable tie. People’s first impression about cable tie is always a self-locking and colorful plastic strip. They think cables ties are pretty much the same. Seldom have they considered about whether they are choosing the right or not. In fact, cables ties have many different distinctions in construction, material, color, size and some special features. So do you want to know if your selection is right? Don’t worry. The following parts will give the explanation.
Cable ties have to be able to meet the most varied demands these days as they are used in the widest range of operations – from the simple bundling of cables with cable ties to the absolutely specific use of cable ties under extreme conditions. Thus, many factors are taken into consideration during the design of cable ties.
Cable Tie Construction
Cable ties can be classified as either one-piece or two-piece construction. One-piece cable ties typically have a plastic locking device molded into the head of the tie. The locking device ratchets the notched strap to tighten and lock. This design has a lower cost of manufacturing and is used for general applications around home or office. Compared to one-piece cable ties, two-piece cable ties are with higher performance. They consist of a stainless-steel locking device embedded into the head of the tie, and a smooth locking strap. This design offers high tensile strength, and resistance to mechanical and environmental stress for applications that require greater performance than what a general cable tie offers. In addition, the smooth, infinitely adjustable strap also allows for the exact bundled tightness. The head of the two-piece cable tie engages the strap when installed, and permanently locks in place. With a lower profile and smoother cross-section, the uniform cross-section distributes stress across the strap more evenly than with one-piece cable ties. Thus, the two-piece cable ties are more resistant to brittleness and breakage in harsh environments, particularly appropriate for harsh conditions, such as ultraviolet exposure, extreme temperature, and exposure to moisture or chemicals, as well as for applications where retrofitting is not an option.
Cable Tie Material
The material design of different cable ties also needs to consider for different applications, such as occurring indoors or outdoors; the environment’s temperature range; the presence of moisture, chemicals and radiation; flammability issues; and cost. Cable ties are available in a wide range of materials, each with its own specific properties. Among them, the most common type is nylon cable ties. Nylon ties can offer good resistance to weather and ultraviolet rays in lower temperatures. In addition, for applications in harsher environments that require extra durability in the face of heat, chemicals and other corrosive elements, there are stainless-steel cable ties.
Cable Tie Color
The most commonly used cable ties are white and black. But colorful cable ties are also popular with users. These cable ties with rainbow colors are very useful when you are trying to color-code your cables, or just want to match the ties to your equipment. Moreover, you can use different cable ties to mark different cables bunch which is convenient for cable management.
Cable Tie Size
When using cable ties, you should also consider the size and shape. First, be sure to measure the diameter of the cable bundle you’ll be tying and decide the length. In general, to buy cable ties with a little longer length is better. Because no one wants to find out at the last minute that the cable ties are too short to use. In addition to length, width or shape are also important considerations to choose optimal cable ties for your cable bunch.
Cable Tie Special Features
Though the standard-design cable ties can meet most of our requirements, sometimes, we still need something special for special applications. For instance, most cable ties lock permanently, but sometimes, we would prefer to looking for a solution that cable ties can be undone without actual cutting. Then, releasable cable ties have been launched in the market. In a releasable cable tie, the built-in locking tab can actually be disengaged, allowing the tail end of the tie to be pulled free from the head. Releasable cable ties tend to cost a little more than the standard type, but they save money and are more eco-friendly in the long run because you can reuse them over and over instead of just throwing them away. Additionally, for different special applications, there are mounted head cable ties, marker ties, etc.
Conclusion
It is very unprofessional to use random cable ties for your cable management. Knowing the secrets about cable ties can lead you to choose the matching cable ties for your applications. This will greatly reduce the unnecessary problems during actual practice. Actually, no matter cable ties or other assembles, each component of cabling system should not be underestimated. The right selection will greatly increase the efficiency of a cabling system.

The Benefits of Using OM1 When Setting Up Your Network

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

OM1 Cable with Orange Jacket
When using fiber optic cable, the information you are sending from one computer to another can get there faster. This is because you are sending the information throw glass. Glass has no restrictions and can allow what is sent to travel long distances and at higher bandwidths than conventional wire.
Of course, there are different types of fiber with data rates that differ, as well, not to mention the distance is also different. Some cables only allow for certain distances, while others can go much further. The base way to consider what type of cable you need is to know what type of network you are setting up.
In order to help you with picking the right cable, I have written a series of four blogs that will cover each type of fiber optic cable we carry, and give you the benefits, as well limitations of each type, so you can judge which one is best for you. The type of cables we sell include OM1, OM2, OM3, and OM4.
In this blog, I will discuss OM1, as this in the first of its kind we sell. As with any type of medium you use, there are variables to consider. These include the fiber transceiver, wavelength, cable type, core size of fiber (micron), and distance.
In general multi-mode, fiber optic cable can deliver up to 1 GB/s. This type of cable is good for up to 2 km. You will find its operating wavelength to be about 850nm and 1300nm. If you are using the wiring at distances of 100m, the bandwidth is unlimited.
With OM1, the data rate is 1GB at 850nm. It’s core size is 62.5 microns. This is why OM1 fiber optic cable is used when building tight space networks, as it can travel up to 300m.
OM1 cable easily supports applications ranging from Ethernet at 10 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s. OM1 has been know to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet at a length of 33 meters. Its core size were great to use with LED transmitters.  OM1 is best used to build short-haul networks, local area networks (LANs) and private networks.
OM1 cable can be recognized by  its yellow jacket.
If you are interested in purchasing this cable, go to fiber-mart.com and order yours today.

FIBER OPTICS PREDICTING LANDSLIDES

by http://www.fiber-mart.com

Over the years, there have been a number of ways developed in an attempt to figure out how it might be possible to predict landslides. One of the more recent to appear happens to utilize fiber optic cables to create something like a nervous system, or more accurately a spider web that can be monitored for vibrations to determine if a landslide is going to occur. Of course, it may not seem like much to learn to predict landslides, but actually thousands die every year because of rock falls and landslides and this is just one of many technologies that can help assist people in avoiding those problems all together.
The device that is currently used to determine problems with landslides is called an electronic inclinometer and is placed on slopes that are considered a major risk, but only notifies us when the slope’s angle is changed from what it was originally. This gives us little more than minutes to do anything about it, and that means anyone already there has no warning or time to react. This is what led to new methods being sought out.
Instead, this new system would be implanting modules of fiber optic cables all around slopes that are problematic, then as any of the soil shifts or any pressure is built into tensile strain the modules will catch it and relay it back to someone, which can give upwards of a few hours or more for action to be taken. These fiber optic modules are also far sturdier than the inclinometer, which means less damage done to them as well when a slide occurs.
This version with fiber optics was also developed after an idea about using acoustic sensors in the mountains could help determine when I slide might occur. So far, the fiber cables seem to be more effective, but scientists are still doing their best to determine what other kinds of options they have with predicting landslides to save more people.