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Infrared light ( 0.74-300m) has been commonly used for communication purpose for many years. Alexander Graham Bell transmitted speech information using a light beam for the first time in 1880. Just after four years of the invention of the telephone Bell proposed his photo phone which was capable of providing a speech transmission over a distance of 200m. In the earlier stage optical fibers exhibited very high attenuation (almost 1000 dB/km) which was incomparable with coaxial cables having attenuation of around 5 to 10dB/km. Nevertheless, within ten years optical fiber losses were reduced to below 5dB/km and suitable low loss jointing techniques were perfected as well. Parallely with the development of the optical fibers other essential optical components like semiconductor optical sources (i.e. injection LASERs and LEDs) and detectors (i.e. photodiodes and phototransistors) were also going through rigorous research process. Primarily the semiconductor LASERs exhibited very short lifetime of at most a few hours but by 1973 and 1977 lifetimes greater than 1000 hr and 7000 hr respectively were obtained through advanced device structure. The first generation optical fiber links operated at around 850 nm range. Existing GaAs based optical sources, silicon photo detectors, and multimode fibers were used in these links and quiet understandably they suffered from intermodal dispersion and fiber losses. With the advent of optical sources and photo detectors capable of operating at 1300 nm, a shift in transmission wavelength from 850nm to 1300nm was possible which in turn resulted in a substantial increase in the repeater less transmission distance for long haul telephone trunks. Systems operating at 1550nm provided lowest attenuation and these links routinely carry traffic at around 2.5Gb/s over 90 km repeater less distance. The introduction of optical amplifiers like Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFA) and Praseodymium-doped fiber amplifiers (PDFA) had a major thrust to fiber transmission capacity. The use of Wavelength Division Multiplexing along with EDFA proved to be a real boost in fiber capacity. Hence developments in fiber technology have been carried out rapidly over recent years. Glass material for even longer wavelength operation in the mid-infrared (2000 to 5000nm) and far-infrared (8000 to 12000nm) regions have been developed. Furthermore, the implementation of active optoelectronic devices and associated fiber components (i.e. splices, connectors, couplers etc.) has also accelerated ahead with such speed that optical fiber communication technology would seem to have reached a stage of maturity within its developmental pattern.


Optical fiber can be used as a medium for telecommunication and computer networking because it is flexible and can be bundled as cables. It is especially advantageous for long-distance communications, because light propagates through the fiber with little attenuation compared to electrical cables. This allows long distances to be spanned with few repeaters. Additionally, the per-channel light signals propagating in the fiber have been modulated at rates as high as 111 gigabits per second by NTT, although 10 or 40 Gbit/s is typical in deployed systems. Each fiber can carry many independent channels, each using a different wavelength of light (wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM)). The net data rate (data rate without overhead bytes) per fiber is the per-channel data rate reduced by the FEC overhead, multiplied by the number of channels (usually up to eighty in commercial dense WDM systems as of 2008). The current laboratory fiber optic data rate record, held by Bell Labs in Villarceaux, France, is multiplexing 155 channels, each carrying 100 Gbit/s over a 7000 km fiber. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation has also managed 69.1 Tbit/s over a single 240 km fiber (multiplexing 432 channels, equating to 171 Gbit/s per channel). Bell Labs also broke a 100 Pentabit per second kilometer barrier (15.5 Tbit/s over a single 7000 km fiber). For short distance applications, such as a network in an office building, fiber-optic cabling can save space in cable ducts. This is because a single fiber can carry much more data than electrical cables such as standard category 5 Ethernet cabling, which typically runs at 100 Mbit/s or 1 Gbit/s speeds. Fiber is also immune to electrical interference; there is no cross-talk between signals in different cables, and no pickup of environmental noise. Non-armored fiber cables do not conduct electricity, which makes fiber a good solution for protecting communications equipment in high voltage environments, such as power generation facilities, or metal communication structures prone to lightning strikes. They can also be used in environments where explosive fumes are present, without danger of ignition. Wiretapping (in this case, fiber tapping) is more difficult compared to electrical connections, and there are concentric dual core fibers that are said to be tap-proof.


An optical fiber (or optical fibre) is a flexible, transparent fiber made of glass (silica) or plastic, slightly thicker than a human hair. It functions as a waveguide, or light pipe to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber. The field of applied science and engineering concerned with the design and application of optical fibers is known as fiber optics. Optical fibers are widely used in fiber-optic communications, which permits transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data rates) than other forms of communication. Specially-designed fibers are used for a variety of other applications, including sensors and fiber lasers. Optical fibers typically include a transparent core surrounded by a transparent cladding material with a lower index of refraction. Light is kept in the core by total internal reflection. This causes the fiber to act as a waveguide. Fibers that support many propagation paths or transverse modes are called multimode fibers (MMF), while those that only support a single mode are called single-mode fibers (SMF). Multi-mode fibers generally have a wider core diameter, and are used for short-distance communication links and for applications where high power must be transmitted. Single-mode fibers are used for most communication links longer than 1,050 meters (3,440 ft). Joining lengths of optical fiber is more complex than joining electrical wire or cable. The ends of the fibers must be carefully cleaved, and then spliced together, either mechanically or by fusing them with heat. Special optical fiber connectors for removable connections are also available.

Figure 1: Structure of optical fiber

An optical fiber is a cylindrical dielectric waveguide (non conducting waveguide) that transmits light along its axis, by the process of total internal reflection. The fiber consists of a core surrounded by a cladding layer, both of which are made of dielectric materials. To confine the optical signal in the core, the refractive index of the core must be greater than that of the cladding. The boundary between the core and cladding may either be abrupt, in step-index fiber, or gradual, in graded-index fiber. The practical propagation of light through an optical fiber may best be explained using ray theory and Snells law. Simply stated, we can say that when light passes from a medium of higher refractive index (n1) into a medium of lower refractive index (n2), the refractive ray is bent away from the normal. As the angle of incidence becomes more oblique, the refracted ray is bent more until finally the refracted energy emerges at an angle of 90 with respect to the normal and just grazes the surface. Internal reflection occurs when the angle of incidence exceeds the critical angle. A glass fiber, for the effective transmission of light, requires total internal reflection.

Figure 1: Ray paths for several angles of incidence Following figure illustrates a model of optical fiber link. Besides the supporting electrical circuitry there are three basic elements in an optical fiber transmission system: (1) the optical source, (2) the fiber link and (3) optical detector.

Figure 2: A model of typical fiber optic communication link

2.2. TOTAL INTERNAL REFLECTION:When light traveling in an optically dense medium hits a boundary at a steep angle (larger than the critical angle for the boundary), the light will be completely reflected. This is called total internal reflection. This effect is used in optical fibers to confine light in the core. Light travels through the fiber core, bouncing back and forth off the boundary between the core and cladding. Because the light must strike the boundary with an angle greater than the critical angle, only light that enters the fiber within a certain range of angles can travel down the fiber without leaking out. This range of angles is called the acceptance cone of the fiber. The size of this acceptance cone is a function of the refractive index difference between the fiber's core and cladding. In simpler terms, there is a maximum angle from the fiber axis at which light may enter the fiber so that it will propagate, or travel, in the core of the fiber. The sine of this maximum angle is the numerical aperture (NA) of the fiber. Fiber with a larger NA requires less precision to splice and work with than fiber with a smaller NA. Single-mode fiber has a small NA.

Figure 3: Total internal reflection phenomenon

2.3. MULTI-MODE FIBER:Fiber with large core diameter (greater than 10 micrometers) may be analyzed by geometrical optics. Such fiber is called multi-mode fiber. The main difference between multi-mode and single-mode optical fiber is that the former has much larger core diameter, typically 50100 micrometers; much larger than the wavelength of the light carried in it. Multi-mode fiber has higher "light-gathering" capacity than single-mode fiber. In practical terms, the larger core size simplifies connections and also allows the use of lower-cost electronics such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) which operate at the 850 nm and 1300 nm wavelength (single-mode fibers used in telecommunications operate at 1310 or 1550 nm and require more expensive laser sources.

Figure 4: Multimode optical fiber

2.3.1. STEP-INDEX FIBER:In a step-index multi-mode fiber, rays of light are guided along the fiber core by total internal reflection. Rays that meet the core-cladding boundary at a high angle (measured relative to a line normal to the boundary), greater than the critical angle for this boundary, are completely reflected. The critical angle (minimum angle for total internal reflection) is determined by the difference in index of refraction between the core and cladding materials. Rays that meet the boundary at a low angle are refracted from the core into the cladding, and do not convey light and hence information along the fiber. The critical angle determines the acceptance angle of the fiber, often reported as a numerical aperture. A high numerical aperture allows light to propagate down the fiber in rays both close to the axis and at various angles, allowing efficient coupling of light into the fiber. However, this high numerical aperture increases the amount of dispersion as rays at different angles have different path lengths and therefore take different times to traverse the fiber.

2.3.2. GRADED INDEX FIBER:In graded-index fiber, the index of refraction in the core decreases continuously between the axis and the cladding. This causes light rays to bend smoothly as they approach the cladding, rather than reflecting abruptly from the core-cladding boundary. The resulting curved paths reduce multi-path dispersion because high angle rays pass more through the lower-index periphery of the core, rather than the highindex center. The index profile is chosen to minimize the difference in axial propagation speeds of the various rays in the fiber. This ideal index profile is very close to a parabolic relationship between the index and the distance from the axis.

Figure 6: Different modes in optical fiber

As the fiber is not perfectly constructed, there may be numerous physical anomalies in the core/cladding interface over the length of a cable run, numerous points at which the light rays encounter extreme angles in the interface, and, therefore, numerous opportunities for the light rays to enter the cladding. Also, a typical cable installation is not perfectly straight, but takes numerous twists and turns that create odd angles, once again causing light rays to enter the cladding. Some light rays enter the cladding at extreme angles and are simply lost in it. Those errant light rays that enter at more modest angles gain in velocity and refract, or bend, as they travel through it as the cladding has a slightly lower IOR than the core.


Figure 7: Single mode optical fiber

1) Core: 8 m diameter 2) Cladding: 125 m dia. 3) Buffer: 250 m dia. 4) Jacket: 400 m dia.

Fiber with a core diameter less than about ten times the wavelength of the propagating light cannot be modeled using geometric optics. Instead, it must be analyzed as an electromagnetic structure, by solution of Maxwell's equations as reduced to the electromagnetic wave equation. The electromagnetic analysis may also be required to understand behaviors such as speckle that occur when coherent light propagates in multi-mode fiber. As an optical waveguide, the fiber supports one or more confined transverse modes by which light can propagate along the fiber. Fiber supporting only one mode is called singlemode or mono-mode fiber. The behavior of larger-core multi-mode fiber can also be modeled using the wave equation, which shows that such fiber supports more than one mode of propagation (hence the name). The results of such modeling of multi-mode fiber approximately agree with the predictions of geometric optics, if the fiber core is large enough to support more than a few modes. The most common type of single-mode fiber has a core diameter of 810 micrometers and is designed for use in the near infrared. The mode structure depends on the wavelength of the light used, so that this fiber actually supports a small number of additional modes at visible wavelengths. Multi-mode fiber, by comparison, is manufactured with core diameters as small as 50 micrometers and as large as hundreds of

micrometers. The normalized frequency V for this fiber should be less than the first zero of the Bessel function J0 (approximately 2.405).

2.5. SPECIAL-PURPOSE FIBER:Some special-purpose optical fiber is constructed with a non-cylindrical core and/or cladding layer, usually with an elliptical or rectangular cross-section. These include polarization-maintaining fiber and fiber designed to suppress whispering gallery mode propagation. Photonic-crystal fiber is made with a regular pattern of index variation (often in the form of cylindrical holes that run along the length of the fiber). Such fiber uses diffraction effects instead of or in addition to total internal reflection, to confine light to the fiber's core. The properties of the fiber can be tailored to a wide variety of applications.

2.6. SPLICES AND CONNECTORS:Optical fiber cable is commonly available in 1-km sections; it is also available in longer sections, in some types up to 10 km or more. In any case there must be some way of connecting the fiber to the source and to the detector as well as connecting the reels of cable together, whether in 1 km or more lengths, as required. There are two methods of connection, namely, 1) Splicing 2) Using connectors

Figure 8: Direct burial optical fiber cable The objective in either case is to transfer as much light as possible through the coupling. A good splice couples more light than the best connectors. A good splice can have an insertion loss as low as 0.09 dB, whereas the best connector loss can be as low as 0.3 dB. An optical fiber splice requires highly accurate alignment and an excellent end finish to the fibers.

2.6.1 Splicing Splicing is permanent connection of two pieces of fibers Two types of splicing1. Mid-span splicing of two fibers 2. Pig-tail splicing Two techniques of splicing 1. Mechanical splicing- it is of slightly higher losses (about 0.2db) and less reliable performance. Mechanical splices are reflective and non-homogeneous. This type of splicing is used for emergency restoration because it is fast, inexpensive and easy. 2. Fusion splicing- it provides fast, reliable, loss less ( in the range of 0.01db to 0.1db for single mode fibers) , practically non-reflective, fiber-fiber connection by creating a homogeneous connection by heating two fiber ends for that fibers are melt or fused.


2.6.2 CONNECTORS Fiber optic connectors facilitate re-mate able connection i.e. disconnection / reconnection of fiber. Connectors are used in applications where flexibility is required in routing an optical signal from lasers to receivers, reconfiguration is necessary, termination of cables is required. Connector consists of four parts- 1) ferrule, 2) connector body, 3) cable, 4) coupling device. FERRULE:-

The FC connector is a fiber-optic connector with a threaded body, which was designed for use in high-vibration environments. It is commonly fiber. used FC with both single-mode are used optical

fiber and polarization-maintaining



in datacom,

telecommunications, measurement equipment, and single-mode lasers. They are becoming less common, displaced by SC and LC connectors. The FC connector has been standardized in a FOCIS 4 (Fiber Optic Connector Intermateability Standards) in EIA/TIA-604-04. FC is an acronym for "ferrule connector" or "fiber channel". CONNECTOR BODY:Also called the connector housing, the connector body holds the ferrule. It is usually constructed of metal or plastic and includes one or more assembled pieces which hold the fiber in place. The details of these connector body assemblies vary among connectors, but bonding and/or crimping is commonly used to attach strength members and cable jackets to the connector body. CABLE:The cable is attached to the connector body. It acts as the point of entry for the fiber. Typically, a strain-relief boot is added over the junction between the cable & the connector body, providing extra strength. Connecting devices:-


Most fiber optic connectors do not use the male-female configuration common to electronic connectors. Instead, a coupling device such as an alignment sleeve is used to mate the connectors. Similar devices may be installed in transmitters & receivers to allow these devices to be mated via a connector. These devices are also known as feed through bulk head adapters.

3. FIBER OPTIC LINK DESIGN:The light pulses forms an electro-magnetic carriers wave i.e. modulated to carry information. The process of communicating fiber optics involves the following steps: creating the optical signal along the fiber relaying the signal along the fiber ensuring the signal does not become attenuated or distorted receiving the optical signal Converting it to an electrical signal.


Figure 9:- OFC system

In OFC system E1 (2 mbps) level concept is used controlled by digital network interface card (DINC) or CEPT card. In E1 level there are 32 time slots of which 30 are usable, slot 1 & 16 being used for signaling & synchronization. The heart of OFC is the Synchronous Terminal Module (STM). A STM supports 21 E1 channels each supporting 30 voice channels. The loss in a STM is negligible (0.1 to 0.5 db). Using TXT (Tributary extendable) cards in place of line interface (LI) cards at 9 and 17 slots the number of supported voice channels can be increased to (1+2) 2130. Thus we get 221 more E1 channels extra to a single STM. The various cards used are: SRFC:-Sub rack connection field is used in power distribution. ADM:- Add drop multiplexer card. It has two ports S1 the inner port and S2 the outer port. Each having their own receiving and transmitting channels. LI:- Line interface cards are used in third direction optical communication. TXT:- Tributary extendable terminal card. This can be used in place of LI cards at slot 9 and 17 to increase the number of supported E1 channels in STM. Many multiplexers and modems are used in OFC communications. The multiplexers consist of many programmable cards. They are classified under as follows. 3.1. Cards in STM:-


Figure 10: Cards in STM

3.1.1. Primary cards: NIM: network interface module is used in network interfacing and is programmed for deciding source and destination of communication links. PSU: Power supply card supplies required power to different devices. Different voltages used are +5/-5 V, +10/-10 V and 80 V; ground is set to -48v. TXT: this card is used for denoting time slots routing and transfer of denoted time slots with handshaking system mode.

3.1.2 Secondary cards: HSD: High speed data card has a data rate of 64 kbps. One HSD has 4 ports. It consists of V35 and G703 modems acting in slave and master mode respectively and is used in dealing with data signals. Voice: Voice cards are omnibus circuit that is of two categories, one serving on the exchange side i.e. the voice/exchange card and the other serving at subscriber side i.e. voice/subscriber card. It is a 4 port card. The utilities of the card are as follows. OTD: Operator trunk dialing I the use of the circuit by which an operator matures a call due to a calling subscriber. It can be of 2 or 4 wire circuit . STD: Subscriber trunk dialing is related to subscriber side dialing and is basically related to OFC.



iii iv

E&M: Ear and mouth circuit is a 2 to 4 wire hybrid circuit used in call conferencing. LSD: Low speed data is mainly used in public reservation system (PRS). It has a data rate 9.6 kbps. Hotline: The hotline circuits are only some few recommended circuits in which connection is possible between only 2 subscribers. In this scheme no dial code is required.

3.1.3. Modems: Dual modems are used in OFC. They are:a. G-703 b. V-35 Both the modems can be used in master and slave mode. Mainly the modem i.e. nearer to OFC terminal is used as master modem. Generally G-703 modem is preferred as the master modem. Optical time Domain reflectometer is used to determine the fault in OFC
The VCL E1 (G.703) Fiber Optic Modem provides the user the capability to establish communication between two E1 interfaces or between an E1/FE1 interface and a "n"x64 V.35 interface over an optical fiber link.It establishes a secure, long range data fiber link between routers, multiplexers and other E1 devices. The primary application for the VCL-E1 (G.703) Fiber Optic Modem is to establish point-to-point fiber link at ranges longer than any copper modem can achieve. The clock options are Internal/External/Slave Clock - three clock mode option.



4.1. ADVANTAGES: More information carrying capacity- fibers can handle much higher data rate than copper,so more information can be sent in a second. Information carrying capacity of various media is as follows:-

Medium/ link Copper cable (short distance) Coaxial cable (repeater every 4.5km) UHF link

Carrier 1 Mhz

Information capacity 1Mbps (ADSL)

100 Mhz

140Mbps (BSNL)

2 Ghz

8Mbps (BSNL) 2Mbps (Rly.)

MW link (repeater every 40km) OFC

7 Ghz

140 Mbps (BSNL) 34 Mbps (Rly.) 2.5 Gbps(STM-16 Rly.) 10 Gbps (STM-64) 1.28 Tbps (128 Ch. DWDM) 20 Tbps (Possible)

1550 nm

Free from electromagnetic & electrostatic interference- being insulator no electric current flows through the fiber and due to this fiber neither radiates nor pick up electromagnetic radiation.


Low attenuation- (25db/km in 1550nm) loss in coaxial cable increases with frequency where as loss in optical fiber cable remains flat over a wide range of frequency.

Figure 11: Frequency vs attenuation in various types of cable Fibers not affected by power surges & corrosive chemicals- photons of light in a fiber do not effect each other as they have no electrical charge and they are not affected by stray photons outside the fiber. But in case of copper electrons move through the cable and these are effected by each other. Safety- optical fiber does not carry electricity even if the cable is damaged or short circuited it does not cause any spark or fire hazards. No cross talk- as the signal transmission is by digital modulation there is no chance of cross talk. Flexibility in system upgradation- only by adding few additional terminals and repeater equipments the capacity of the system can be increased at any time. High resistance to chemical effects and temperature variations.

4.2. LIMITATIONS IN OFC: Difficulty in joining (splicing) Highly skilled stuff would be required for maintainace Precision and costly instruments are required Tapping for emergency and gate communication is difficult Costly if under utilized Special interface equipments required for block working Accept unipolar i.e return to zero codes only


Long haul circuits for administrative branch and data transmission circuits Short haul circuits for linking telephone exchanges Control communication and signaling application for fail safe transmission Electronic interlocking systems installation


1. Fiber Optic Communication- 15 June 2012 2. Optic Fiber- _fiber . 16 June 2012 3. Total internal reflection- 16 June 2012 4. Multi-mode Optical Fiber- 17 June 2012 5. Optical Fiber Communication- 17June 2012 6. Limitations of Optical Fiber?- June 2012