- Optical fibers are thin strands of glass or plastic to guide light. They are used most often in fiber optic communications, where they permit transmission over longer distances and with less signal loss (attenuation) compared to wire cables.
- Optical fibers are used extensively in telecommunications for telephone calls and network data transmission. They are preferred over metal communications cables as they are lighter, less expensive, and immune to electromagnetic interference.
- Optical fibers are made by drawing glass or plastic to a diameter slightly thicker than that of a human hair. This produces a flexible fiber that can be bundled into cables and used for light transport and transmission.
- Optical fibers are classified into multimode fibers and single-mode fibers depending on the number of light paths or modes that can propagate through the fiber. Single-mode fibers have lower attenuation and dispersion.
- Optical fiber cables contain protective jackets and strength members to withstand environmental stresses. They are used for long-distance transmission outside of buildings. Fiber optic trunklines and submarine telecommunications cables use optical fibers.
- Optical fiber connectors and splices are used to connect individual fibers together and to other components. They provide low-loss connections and protection against environmental stresses.
- Optical fiber sensors are used to measure strain, temperature, pressure, vibration, acoustic emission, etc. They have high sensitivity and are immune to electromagnetic interference.
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