Most people have heard of fiber optic cable, given its steady growth in popularity for telecommunications and the internet. You may be wondering, “What is a fiber optic cable?”
The short version is that it is a network cable that has increased bandwidth and data-transfer performance over traditional cables. And it does so with fewer opportunities for the interruption.
If you are curious about this innovative technology, the information below will tell you everything you need to know. Fiber optic cable will continue to revolutionize a variety of industries in our daily lives, and you can have a better idea of how.
What Is a Fiber Optic Cable?
As far back as Ancient Rome, people have been drawing glass into fibers. In 1790s France, the Chappe brothers invented the first optical telegraph. While telephone companies have been using fibers for decades, the advances that have led to lightning-fast data transfer were not actualized until recently.
What is a fiber optic cable? It is cable housing that contains varying numbers of optical fibers made from either glass or plastic (there can be hundreds in a single cable).
Fiber optic cable is about the size of a strand of hair. This makes them lightweight and means they take up less space. NASA uses them on the space shuttle to limit payload weight.
What is the primary function of fiber optic cables? To transmit data using pulses of light. Not only is it fast, but the fibers can also handle 65,000 times more information than traditional copper wire.
How Do Optical Fibers Work?
The process initiates when an optical transmitter receives information and relays it to a laser or an LED. The light source then sends the information out along the fibers. Receiving equipment accepts and translates the information on the other end.
Fiber optic cable is used in a range of applications. These include telecommunications, medical, internet, and broadband.
It is also becoming a popular choice for LED lighting. The fibers use very little electricity, especially compared to their counterparts that rely on bulbs.
While this technology has historically been used to bridge communications across long distances, some local providers have started offering fiber optic internet. If you are interested in finding components online, including hermetic wire seals, connectors, and optical fiber feedthroughs, click here.
The Advantages of Fiber Optic Cable
Since fiber optic cable uses light to transmit information, they emit less heat than traditional metal cables. They also do not carry a traditional current, which means they cannot generate sparks that could cause fires.
Another advantage is that you can use it in areas where there are flammable or dangerous chemicals. And, since they are not metal, fiber optic cable isn’t affected by electromagnetic disturbances, such as weather incidents. For this reason, they have become the go-to for military operations, especially those in harsh climates.
Fiber optic instruments are becoming popular in healthcare for procedures like endoscopies. They can capture images of cavities and other spaces in the body that are difficult to access.
Transportation planning makes use of optical fibers in their intelligent traffic systems. Transferring data quickly can help manage the flow of traffic, alleviate congestion, and improve commute times.
Fiber Is the Future
Now that you have an answer to the question, “What is a fiber optic cable?” you can better understand its benefits and potential. Expect fiber optics to continue changing our world in big and small ways. And keep your eyes peeled for the availability of a fiber-optic network in your area.
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