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Fiber Optics II Cable Design

Lee Layton, P.E.


Course Outline

Volume II is divided into two chapters.  Chapter one covers optical fiber designs including single mode and multimode fibers.  Optical fibers are either single mode or multimode fibers.  Fibers are classified, among other things, according to the number of modes that they can propagate. 

The second chapter covers the design of optical fiber cables.  Optical fibers have small cross sectional areas. Without protection, optical fibers are fragile and can be broken. The optical cable structure protects the individual optical fibers from environmental damage and includes buffers, strength members, and jackets.

At the end of the course is a summary of the key terms presented.

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

Learning Objective

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to do the following:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for electrical engineers and others who want to learn more about fiber optic cables.

Benefit to Attendees

Fiber optic cables are becoming the backbone for all ground-based communications in the world.  This course will give you a thorough understanding of how fiber optic cables are designed and fabricated.

Course Introduction

This is course is the second of five courses on fiber optic cables and is concerned with the basic design of fiber optic cables. Optical fibers are thin cylindrical dielectric (non-conductive) waveguides used to send light energy for communication. Optical fibers consist of three parts: the core, the cladding, and the coating or buffer.

This course describes multimode and single mode step-index and graded-index fibers, explains the terms refractive index profile, relative refractive index difference, and profile parameter and lists the performance advantages of multimode graded-index fibers.

The choice of optical fiber materials and fiber design depends on operating conditions and intended application. Optical fibers are protected from the environment by incorporating the fiber into some type of cable structure. Cable strength members and outer jackets protect the fiber. Optical cable structure and material composition depend on the conditions of operation and the intended application.

The course also describes fabrication processes including the vapor phase oxidation and direct-melt optical fiber fabrication procedures.  Basic cable components, such as buffers, strength members, and jacket materials are explained as well as the advantages and disadvantages of OFCC cable, stranded cable, and ribbon cable designs.

Course Content

This course content is in the following PDF document:

Fiber Optics II Cable Design

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Course Summary

This course has been a review of the basic construction of fiber optic cables including the types of cables, cable properties, and performance characteristics.  The course reviewed multimode, single mode step-index and graded index fibers, and fabrication procedures.

In this course we learned the difference among multimode and single mode step-index and graded-index fibers and the important terms in fiber design including refractive index profile, relative refractive index difference, and profile parameter. 

The manufacturing processes were considered including the vapor phase oxidation and direct-melt optical fiber fabrication procedures as well as fiber drawing processes.  The components of a fiber cable were covered including buffers, strength members, and jacket materials.  Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of OFCC cable, stranded cable, and ribbon cable designs were discussed.

Quiz

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


DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center 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 architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.