Print this page Print this page

Introduction to Fiber Optic Cable Technology

Jerry Bednarczyk, P.E.

Course Outline

This course provides an introduction to fiber optic cables, including details of common types of fiber cables, their designs, the basics of their operation and how losses can enter into the system operation. The course also provides information on fiber optic connections and splices and how improper installation of the devices can impact the signals.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Course Introduction

The concept of transmitting information utilizing light is not a late 20th century development. Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated in 1880 that light could be used to transmit telephone signals. However, because of the lack of reliable light sources and low-loss transmission media, the "photo-phone" never achieved commercial success. Fiber optic cables were developed in the first half of the 20th century but the attenuation of the cables was too high to provide practical applications. It wasn't until the late 1960's that a fiber optic cable was developed where the attenuation dropped from over 1000 dB/km to less than 20 dB/km that made the commercialization of guided optical systems practical.

This course will present a review of the various types of fiber optic cables, fiber optic terminations and splices and the inherent problems.

Course Content

The course content is in a PDF file Introduction to Fiber Optic Cable Technology. You need to open or download this document to study this course.

Course Summary

Unlike copper cables, fiber optic cables can be used to transmit large volumes of data along a single cable. Electrical signals are converted into light pulses which are then transmitted along the fiber cable. Due to the advances made in fiber cable technology, thousands of signals can be transmitted over hundreds of miles simultaneously with minimal losses in signal strength. Multimode cables, while generally lower in cost, have higher losses in signal strength as compared to single mode cables. Single mode cables are usually used in installations that are very long and require low losses.

Related Links

For additional information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or webpages:

ARC Electronics
SBE Ennes Workshop
Fiber Source

Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.